Whitelion Employment Program
Finding an employer to take a chance on a high risk young person can be difficult. Combined with a background of intergenerational unemployment and numerous other barriers as a result of negative life experiences can make employment an unrealistic goal. Whitelion has designed a highly intensive step-up program that builds on vocational assessment, personal interests and strengths, through extensive pre-employment training to the point where the individual is matched with one of Whitelion’s employment partners. Whitelion supports the employer by providing them with tools to manage a high risk young person. Whitelion also trains a workplace buddy to support the young person on site. The outcome of this service stream is economic sustainability.
WHITELION’S EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM AIMS TO ENGAGE WITH YOUNG PEOPLE EXPERIENCING BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT SUCH AS MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, OFFENDING BACKGROUNDS, DRUG AND ALCOHOL ISSUES, BEING IN ‘OUT OF HOME CARE’ (FOSTER CARE OR RESIDENTIAL CARE) AND HOMELESSNESS.
The Whitelion Employment Program offers a holistic employment placement and support service for highly marginalised youth jobseekers. Young people referred to the program are provided with a vocational assessment on referral, followed by extensive pre-employment training and mentoring to develop employment skills and aspirations. The Whitelion Employment Program’s methodology ensures that young people are supported every step of the way to access VET and/or employment, and that ongoing support is available to employer and employee for the duration of the work placement.
Since 1999 Whitelion has developed strong relationships with major industry and small business to provide localised employment solutions to some of the most acutely disadvantaged and at-risk young people in our community. Currently Whitelion young people are placed in employment with a variety of employers across many industries including Schweppes, TOLL, Markitforce, Telstra, and the Australian Red Cross, and a new partnership agreement has been signed with Programmed.
Since its inception in 2000, the Whitelion Employment Program has trained and found employment for over 200 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Often the young people have had few positive role models and extremely limited work experience so a great deal of effort is put into training and matching each individual to the right work environment. This slow building of skills and confidence is vital to allow the young person to find their feet and fully realise their potential in the work place.
Preparation and Training
The journey toward a job starts with a vocational assessment around each young person’s skills and aspirations, providing some initial employment goals. This is then followed up with a combination of practical training in communication, team work, problem solving, interview skills and other identified areas. As a young person approaches a ‘work ready’ stage they may also consider some work experience to become familiar with what is required from the workplace.
The Whitelion Employment Program currently works with approximately 35 businesses in key areas of administration, hospitality, trade/outdoors, construction, transport and logistics. Taking into account the needs of the young person and the organisation, a match is made that will offer exposure to the business and good opportunities for learning under the guidance of a workplace buddy. Typically starting with two days of work per week the position is grown very gradually allowing the young person and the business to ease into the working relationship.
Each young person is managed by an employment worker to ensure they receive the appropriate preparation and issues in the life of the young person are minimised on the pathway to work. The employment worker is responsible for supporting not only the young person and their work needs but also the business in maintaining the placement. A good partnership is essential to creating a successful outcome.
Employment by State:
New South Wales
TAS - Launceston: (03) 6344 8522
TAS - Burnie: 0418588990
TAS - Hobart: (03) 6234 5030