Jobseekers seize their opportunity

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

A City-led training program that prepared residents to re-enter the workforce has helped secure jobs for several participants.

The Education to Employment initiative Opportunity East has celebrated the success of nine students who completed the Certificate II in Production Horticulture course.

The participants formally graduated at a ceremony at Encompass’ working farm, The Paddock, in Leopold on Friday.

The supported six-month course focused on reskilling, retraining and rebuilding participants’ confidence, so they were best placed to access future study or work.

The majority of graduates were celebrating not only their new qualifications but also their move into new careers or business opportunities.

Three women will enter a new phase of their working life, gaining employment with Belmont Timber and Faggs Mitre 10.

The course was strongly supported by the hardware, timber and nursery business, which offered store visits, guest speakers and career advice to participants.

Two other women are committed to launching their own gardening and horticulture-related small businesses, with one male graduate securing a position with Barwon Coast Committee of Management.

Another participant is keen to undertake further study in the disability sector.

Encompass hosted participants one day per week at The Paddock and provided the lead trainer for the course.

The City provided access for a wide range of residents in the eastern suburbs and northern Bellarine areas, who were looking to advance their learning or find ongoing employment.

Participants, who ranged in ages from 19 through to their 60s, lived in suburbs from Whittington through to Indented Head.
Opportunity East is part of the Whittington Works Alliance.

It is a partnership project delivered by The Gordon and the City of Greater Geelong that is funded by the Victorian Government.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher

I congratulate the Opportunity East graduates on the significant effort they have made to create positive change in their lives. Through a supportive and encouraging environment, long-term jobseekers have learnt industry-relevant skills that will benefit both them and local employers. The program worked to create new pathways for residents and it is great to see they embraced the opportunity to further their education and job prospects.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 19 November 2019