Benalla is lagging behind neighbouring towns in providing work placements and School Based Apprenticeships for local students.
Members of the Benalla Future Work Project are looking to reverse this trend by providing local businesses with information to demystify the process of taking on a young person, and highlight the many benefits including support and financial incentives.
NE Tracks LLEN Executive Officer and Future Work Steering Group member Danny O’Donoghue said there was a paradox in the labour market in Benalla and more broadly across Australia.
“We are experiencing a high rate of youth unemployment on one hand and businesses find it very difficult to fill jobs with people with appropriate skills, attributes and attitudes, on the other,” Mr O’Donoghue said.
This is where local business can become involved. The key to solving this dilemma is having young people exposed to the work environment while they are still at school.
The tried and proven successful model for this to happen is School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
Employers can mentor young people into the world of work and be reimbursed for some employment costs to assist their business financially in the short term.
The long-term gain for the business is having a potential employee know and understand the world of work. They are then ready for employment when they leave school.
The Future Work Steering Group is staging a free event to enable local businesses to find out more about the work placement options available.
The evening will feature presentations from Sarina Russo Apprenticeships, NE Tracks Local Learning Employment Network and CVGT Australia.
Three local business people who have provided work placement and training opportunities for Benalla’s young people will speak about their experiences and respond to questions.
“We are calling on more local businesses to give a young person a great start to their working life,” said Sally Matheson, Program Manager at Tomorrow Today Foundation, which convenes the Future Work Steering Group.
“With 80 per cent of employers in the Hume Region saying skills are more important than qualifications and 74 per cent of these employers agreeing there has been a positive return on investment from training, now is a great time to support the work placement and training of Benalla’s young people.”