Youth employment focus of Clarence strategic plan
CREATING job opportunities for young people was a major focus at the community listening posts held last year during the formation of The Clarence 2027 community strategic plan.
Recommendations by Clarence Valley residents to improve youth job prospects included expanding youth mentoring and traineeships, encouraging more businesses to offer work experience, and expanding Tafe courses offered locally.
What a difference a year makes.
Tafe NSW recently announced plans to expand its reach in the Clarence Valley with the construction of a Tafe NSW Connected Learning Centre in Yamba.
A range of traineeships and apprenticeships were also on offer across the region, giving young people the chance to earn as they learnt.
In 2018, Clarence Valley Council offered 26 entry-level positions providing training in the workplace, including apprenticeships, university traineeships, and Tafe and schoolbased traineeships.
Dakoda Mundine, 18, started off in a school-based traineeship in the HR department at the council. She is now the council’s business support trainee, working with their holiday parks and the saleyards.
Her long-term goal is to go to university and become a secondary school teacher.
“I think traineeships are really good because they open a lot of doors,” Ms Mundine said. “I wouldn’t be here without my traineeship.”
A regular employer of trainees in the Lower Clarence is Steve Smith, manager of the Raymond Laurie Sports Centre in Yamba and Maclean Sports Centre.
Mr Smith took on his first trainee in 2010 and now employs a trainee for each of the sports centres.
Mr Smith said the traineeships gave young people onthe-job training and experience, and opened the door to sports-based careers.
Jesse Turner, 18, is the current trainee at Yamba’s sports centre. He started the job the day after his final HSC exam last year. He also plans to go to university to work towards a career in the sports industry after completing his traineeship.
“I didn’t want to rush off to uni,” Jesse said. “I wanted time off but I didn’t want to do nothing, so this was good, because I am moving forward and growing my work experience.”