Boot camp works great for train­ing

HANDS-0N WAY TO BUILD SKILLS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith

ONE man wants to make Strug­gle Street a dis­tant mem­ory with a rev­o­lu­tion­ary way to get young peo­ple job ready.

Pro­duc­tiv­ity Boot Camp, based at Mt Druitt, is trans­form­ing the lives of young peo­ple by pro­vid­ing hand­son train­ing in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

Paul Breen de­vel­oped the pro­gram, which teaches ba­sic skills in a sim­u­lated con­struc­tion site, in a way he be­lieves taps into how this gen­er­a­tion wants to be taught.

“We’ve cre­ated an out­door en­vi­ron­ment be­cause it’s be­com­ing very clear that train­ing in the class­room doesn’t suit ev­ery­one,” he said.

The sec­ond group of trainees grad­u­ated last Fri­day, and the changes in the men over the course were re­mark­able, Mr Breen said.

“I do un­der­stand why em­ploy­ers are frus­trated with the at­ti­tudes of the young gen­er­a­tion,” he said.

“When these young men started this course, first they would test you, but when you see the trans­for­ma­tion af­ter eight weeks it’s re­ally in­cred­i­ble.”

Along with teach­ing prac­ti­cal skills, the par­tic­i­pants are also taught about safety in the work­place and com­plete a warm-up stretch­ing pro­gram to re­duce the risk of in­jury.

Mr Breen also in­tro­duced bench­mark­ing scores so the par­tic­i­pants com­pete against their own times in a bid to im­prove work ethic.

“The day flies. They’re not look­ing at their watches to see if it’s time to go home, they’re look­ing at their watches to see their bench­mark­ing score,” he said. “That’s what I call re­sults. Mr Breen self-funded the pi­lot pro­gram and part­nered with job train­ing char­ity 2re­alise, which helps the par­tic­i­pants with job place­ments.

The pro­gram could be repli­cated across the coun­try to help peo­ple in all com­mu­ni­ties gain the skills needed to se­cure a job and build up the na­tion, he said.

Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Hu­man Ser­vices Marise Payne said the boot camp was steal­ing her Cen­tre­link cus­tomers.

“I’ve seen good in­ten­tions that you couldn’t climb over or step over but I’ve never seen re­sults and out­comes like these,” Ms Payne said.

“It re­ally takes enor­mous com­mit­ment, it takes pas­sion, it takes self-belief, it takes drive.”

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