AN innovative pilot training program between Joblink Plus and Big W Inverell has transformed the lives of 11 local job seekers.
The training and mentoring program has been successful with all participants gaining employment with Big W.
Joblink Plus Inverell manager Ros Orchard said the program involved training and mentoring in first aid and retail and ended with eight days work placement at Big W.
“Big W required quality, reliable staff and we wanted to prepare clients for interviews and work readiness so the partnership between Joblink Plus and Big W worked wonderfully.
“Our job seekers have enormous potential, however due to circumstances such as lack of confidence, or minimal working history, they may not effectively show their capabilities in a formal job interview process, and ultimately not secure the job,” she said.
“This is why a major focus of the program was to provide intensive mentoring by Joblink Plus staff which also included the participants undergoing mock interviews to build confidence.”
The interviews were conducted by Rotary volunteers and Big W management to develop confidence in the candidates and help prepare them for the real thing.
Joblink Plus then designed a formal training program specifically targeted at providing the skills that Big W required for the positions available.
Business development manager for Joblink Plus, Peter Draper, liaised with Big W to design the course and was ecstatic with the outcomes.
“It is not often you get a 100 per cent success rate so to me this shows the relationship between the community, Joblink Plus and Big W has worked really well.” he said.
The success of the initiative has lead to this unique employment partnership expanding into other locations.
“It’s a model that works extremely well, Big W are assured of well trained employees that are ready to hit the ground running, while we are rewarded with seeing our job seekers into confident people who are making massive steps to further improve their lives.” Mr Draper said.
The course graduates are now all officially employees of Big W and are enjoying a range of duties and responsibilities.
CHECKOUT: 17-year-old Jenine Blair serves a customer under the guidance of Big W Inverell Manager Colleen Kemp.