Growing stronger together

Thursday July 30, 2015
Funding to help Jobseekers in Geelong’s north


For immediate release

July 30, 2015


Funding to help job seekers in Geelong’s north Jobseekers in Geelong’s northern suburbs will have extra support to help them find and keep a job thanks to renewed funding for the Northern Futures’ Work and Learning Centre.

The Norlane-based Work and Learning Centre is one of five operating throughout Victoria that provides targeted assistance for people living in public housing communities. Northern Futures project manager Helen Long said the Work and Learning Centre creates tailored training programs for job seekers, particularly young people, who need extra help to find work.

“The Work and Learning Centre enables us to help people identify opportunities, undertake targeted training and skills development and support them through their job search,” Ms Long said. “We also work closely with local employers to help clients become job-ready, win a job and keep it.”

The Work and Learning Centre at Northern Futures has been supporting job-seekers in the northern suburbs since 2012. Funding for the program is provided by the Victorian Government and delivered through the Brotherhood of St Laurence which also funds Work and Learning Centres in Carlton, Moe, Sebastopol and Mooroopna.

Over the next four years, the centres will help 2,800 people and create more than 1,400 jobs. Northern Futures Chairman Peter Dorling said the renewed funding demonstrated Northern Futures capacity to deliver programs that are innovative and effective. “Northern Futures continues to demonstrate its ability to identify barriers to employment and work with clients and Geelong industry to achieve above average success rates,” Mr Dorling said. WORK AND LEARNING CENTRE CASE STUDY: Rebecca Bonner, Barwon Health Administrative Assistant Rebecca Bonner, 27, has first hand experience of the life-changing impact of the Northern Futures’ Work and Learning Centre.

The Norlane resident was unemployed and had no formal qualifications when she started a Cert II in Warehousing and Logistics at Northern Futures in 2011. She completed her training but struggled to find a job that was the right fit. Rebecca then began in the Work and Learning Centre program at Northern Futures and, with continued support, secured a traineeship with the TAC. She remained at the TAC for more than 18 months before finding herself out of work again as a result of a departmental restructure.

In April 2014, again with Northern Futures’ support, Rebecca began a second traineeship, this time at Barwon Health, completing a Certificate IV in Business. Earlier this month, Rebecca secured a permanent full-time position as an administrative assistant in the executive department at Barwon Health. “If it wasn’t for Northern Futures I would have given up the job search long ago. I didn’t have a lot of confidence and when I wasn’t working I just stayed home. I was really unhappy and felt very selfconscious,” says Rebecca. “I feel so much more fulfilled now, it’s like I’m living, not just existing. I am hugely grateful for the help I’ve had from Northern Futures and my managers here at Barwon Health. They’ve stuck with me and really helped me turn my life around.”

July 30 2015