Supporting Young Workers: The ‘Take on a Trainee’ Program

Commencing in 2012, the ‘Take on a Trainee’ program provides young people in transition the opportunity to gain paid employment and accredited training through a traineeship with the Department of Education and Child Development (DECD).

Whilst recognising that local DECD sites can provide a career pathway for youth in their community, more support was necessary to develop this program to ensure any financial barriers of individuals could be overcome. Wyatt has therefore been able to provide assistance directly to the trainees who have been employed within local DECD sites across the state.

With a focus on supporting young people facing financial hardship, the program has been able to support 22 participants in its first year who identify as indigenous or at-risk. This support has been to participants across the metro and regional areas with trainees from Adelaide, Mt. Gambier, Clare and the APY lands.

Although most trainees have been supported with costs directly related to their training and employment, the flexible nature of Wyatt’s partnership has been such that some trainees have been given assistance towards costs that mainstream funding would not have covered. An example of this is funding for four trainees from the APY lands, which partially covered costs to engage the families of the trainees. As Stuart Jamieson, the School Leavers Mentor at the Amata School, states:

Family support is vital for the success of our trainees in the context of the Amata community. For most of our trainees they are the only workers in their family and also the first worker for a number of generations. They have not grown up in a work environment and are not currently living in one. As much as it is important to assist the trainee to understand the lifestyle, work behaviors and work ethic required to work full time we also need to work with the families so they can support, not hinder the trainee to do this. Without family support there is very little chance of the traineeships succeeding.