PCYC program kick-starting youth careers

Published 2:00pm 6 March 2024

PCYC program kick-starting youth careers
Words by Jodie Powell

Teenagers on the cusp of entering the workforce are getting extra support to get their foot in the door with the help of PCYC Queensland and the Get Set for Work program.

Get Set for Work, funded by the State Government, provides intensive employment and training assistance to disengaged young people aged 15 to19.

PCYC Pine Rivers at Bray Park is just one of PCYC Queensland’s clubs operating the program, which aims to give young people the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence to enter the workforce, go on to further training or complete school.

Get Set for Work courses are also run at PCYC Caboolture.

PCYC Queensland program co-ordinator Hayley Hatton-Jackman says graduates at Pine Rivers have excelled in their chosen pathways since completing the 10-week course.

“We’ve had three former participants return as PCYC volunteers, with one successfully securing a paid position within PCYC,” Hayley says.

“Several graduates have also seamlessly transitioned into our supplementary programs such as Braking the Cycle and the Youth Leadership Team.

“Most importantly, we’ve seen graduates obtain employment and traineeships through their new qualification, which shows the program really is changing these young people’s lives.”

Engaging alternative to school

PCYC program kick-starting youth careers

Graduate Thomas Nightingale completed Get Set for Work as part of PCYC Pine Rivers’ first cohort at the start of last year.

He stayed on to volunteer with the program and is now on his way to completing his Certificate IV in Youth Work.

“I didn’t like school, school wasn’t for me and I moved to a vocational school and I met a youth worker who really had my back and really having that connection with that person really changed my perspective,” Thomas says.

“I knew I wanted to do something in that field, I just wasn’t sure where. Now I know. Now, I’m here.”

Skills for life

The Get Set for Work program provides an immersive and focused forum for participants to develop skills for employment and gain qualifications, leading to an increased capacity to find work.

At PCYC Pine Rivers participants can obtain a Certificate II in Vocational Pathways and First Aid certification, as well as CPR and White Card training.

The program also involves team-building activities such as beach trips and museum visits and a range of workshops including Bricklaying Talks, Budget Workshops, resume writing and a trip to TAFE.

Superintendent Robert Fleischer says the Get Set for Work program is changing participants’ lives and strengthening the workforce in the local community.

“Get Set for Work shows that with the right guidance, kids can find employment even if they don’t complete traditional schooling options,” he says.

“If kids do become disengaged from school, this program gives participants all the knowledge and ability to find the right type of employment that interests them.”

Other programs available

PCYC Queensland CEO Phil Schultz says it’s just one of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work suite of programs PCYC offers across the state, with more than half of last year’s graduates going on to find success.

“Close to 60 percent of young people who graduated from Skilling Queenslanders for Work programs at PCYC last year found jobs or went on to further education, and we anticipate even more positive outcomes this year,” Phil says.

“A particular advantage for young people at PCYC is we focus on individuals and offer many different programs that can help them find their pathway.

“Key to any of these is giving young people a safe space to connect with a QPS officer, youth worker or other mentor to gain the support they need.”

PCYC Braking the Cycle supports learner drivers to gain logbook hours with volunteer mentors and is funded by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.

Find out more about what PCYC Queensland offers here.

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