Bendigo’s YOUth Community program sets Jamie up for success

Bendigo job seeker Jamie came to MatchWorks in July 2015 seeking to improve his confidence and self-esteem to gain employment.

After completing several volunteer and Work for the Dole positions to build up his experience, Jamie was referred to the YOUth Community program in October 2017 to improve his chances of finding paid and meaningful employment.

The program is part of the Australian Government’s Empowering YOUth initiative, which supports new, innovative approaches to help long-term unemployed young people aged 15 to 24 years to improve their skills and move toward sustainable employment.

MatchWorks team member Wayne Knight said the six-month program assisted Jamie to successfully gain his Learner’s Permit, increase his confidence and effectively market himself to employers.

“Jamie was a consistent attendee of the YOUth Community program, contributing well to group discussions and activities, and said it was the most hands-on job search program he had participated in,” Wayne said.

“Jamie actively went out with me to market himself and while there were a number of no’s, there were also a number of positives that Jamie gained from the experience, such as having the confidence to approach people and start the conversation about employment.

“I then introduced Jamie to Kel Forrest of Forrest Computing who I have had a relationship with since 2001. Kel had a brief chat with Jamie and offered him a work trial based on the fact that he had experience from volunteering at a number of places and wanted to work.”

Jamie commenced his work trial and impressed the employer. He was offered employment as a part-time computer programmer in February 2018 and has reached a 3-month milestone.