Volunteers stepping up

The competitive job market is underscored by uncertainty and underemployment, making it all the more difficult for young unemployed people to take the steps to enter into the job market.

A Churches of Christ in Queensland volunteer program is opening doors for young people and providing individual support to help them step up into employment.

The Step Up Program gives young people the skills and confidence to move into paid employment, Program and Practice Mentor, Bettina McGrath explains.

“Through the Step Up Program we are able to support young people through positive couching, mentoring, volunteering and skills development,” Bettina said.

The program is available to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who need the extra support to be able to change their circumstances.

“By supporting these young people, who include those in care, social housing clients, long-term unemployed, and from the refugee community. We are able to give these young people the chance at realising a positive future for themselves, moving past their current circumstances and into a brighter tomorrow,” she said.

Many young people who complete the program move into employment or further education.

Bettina has been mentoring two young people.

“I have been supporting them with goal setting, updating their resume, job applications, interview techniques, working in their volunteer positions and being there for them as a referee and general support when they need it,” Bettina said.

The young people are also supported by their local volunteer coordinators.

Anna-Leigh Reeves is volunteering at Churches of Christ Care Clive Burdeu Aged Care Service as part of the Step Up Program. She started at the service in June 2016 after a period of unemployment. From starting as an Activities Assistant, she is now enjoying volunteering in Administration.

“Anna-Leigh has really grown in confidence since starting at Clive Burdeu and she is a valued member of the team,” Bettina said.

For the sports fan and avid romance novel reader, her goal is to obtain paid work from the program.

Tom Enslin is also taking part in the program after having experienced unemployment for some time.

Tom has been volunteering at Churches of Christ Care Brig-O-Doon Aged Care Service, supporting the Lifestyle Team as an Activities Assistant. The marathon runner and tennis player is taking part in the program in the hope of obtaining employment as a personal care worker so that he can save money to visit his family overseas.

“Tom is great with the residents, staff and other volunteers when he comes in twice a week, they all enjoy his contribution,” Bettina said.

Read more uplifting stories like this in the latest edition of Networking.

Posted December 16, 2016 in Networking blog