More than a year on from completing her Certificate IV in Youth Work and with two years work experience under her belt, 19 year old Janah O’Shea is a confident young woman with clear ambitions of one day becoming a social worker.
Ms O’Shea is just one of around 200 trainees and apprentices who have graduated through the QGC Strengthening Local Workforces Program during the past three years.
The partnership program between QGC and BUSY At Work was formulated to attract apprentices and trainees outside the resources sector while creating sustainable employment in the Western Downs, Gladstone, North Burnett and Banana Shire.
Now living in Mooloolaba, the former born and bred Dalby resident is enjoying her first year of study for her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
After coming straight from school in January 2013, Janah spent two years working initially as a trainee and then as the Youth Training Program Coordinator at the Downs Industry Schools Co-op (DISCO) in Dalby.
Working with youth aged 13-24, Janah was responsible for developing an alternate learning program focused on personal development, numeracy and literacy workshops and health and fitness activities.
“I have always enjoyed working with disengaged youth and the support I received through the QGC Strengthening Local Workforces Program and BUSY At Work really set me up for my future work career.”
“I am extremely grateful for the mentoring support I received from BUSY At Work’s Apprenticeship Support Officer who helped me focus on my goals and taught me the value of time management as well as helping me improve my communication and planning skills,” Ms O’Shea said.
Janah was also thankful for DISCO for giving her the confidence to step outside her comfort zone and move forward in her chosen career.
“The two years practical work and my training as a youth worker was extremely valuable in helping me complete the theoretical aspects of my university assessments. I feel I have a better understanding than other students having completed a traineeship and worked in a hands on role with young people.”
Janah said she would like to one day return to work in Dalby once she completed her university studies on the Sunshine Coast.
“I believe there is an ongoing need to support disengaged youth in Dalby and I am keen to give back to our local community if a position arises in the future,” Ms O’Shea added.
BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said Janah was just one example of how the QGC Strengthening Local Workforces Program was making a difference not only in the lives of young people but also in the communities where they live.
“Janah’s positive attitude and commitment to her training and her university studies has set a great example for others wanting to follow in her footsteps. Through the support of the QGC Strengthening Local Workforces Program and BUSY At Work, Janah is setting a solid foundation for success in her chosen career.” Mr Miles said.
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