Rhys Power and Flora Vassilakoglou are starting new careers in the disability services sector after completing their traineeship with the IllawarraYES program.
Business Illawarra helped the CRAM Foundation congratulate its two graduates from the NSW Government funded program last Thursday.
Business Illawarra executive director Adam Zarth said the region's peak business body was pleased to partner with the NSW Government and organisations such as CRAM to deliver a program that is helping address workforce shortages in the Illawarra.
IllawarraYES provides diverse and promising opportunities for young, local job seekers. It connects youth with the right skills and qualifications needed to secure jobs within key industries in the region.
CRAM Foundation executive officer Karen Burdett said the disability service provider started working with Business Illawarra on a IllawarraYES program 18 months ago when it was experiencing significant growth in demand and a shortage of available staff in the disability sector.
Ms Burdett said it was great to be able to hold an event to recognise the two new CRAM staff who recently completed the program.
"Rhys and Flora have been working with us over the past year as part of their traineeship via the IllawarraYES program," she said.
"We formally took Rhys and Flora on to help them achieve their certification.
"We have just put them into permanent roles as a result of that.
"They are now support workers in our homes working with our participants."
Ms Burdett said the CRAM Foundation was able to create the opportunities by working with YESIllawarra coordinator Glenn Fairweather and Wesley Vocational Institute.
"We were able to give a number of local young people a seven-week experience of what a fantastic career path this can be, and in doing so, developed a pool of work-ready young people to help us meet growing demand in the disability field," she said.
Ms Burdett said the CRAM Foundation will definitely participate in the program again.
"It gives participants exposure to our type of work," she said.
"And for people who do like the industry but perhaps are interested in a different type of service delivery we have helped refer them on to other organisations. There has been success with that as well."
IllawarraYES uses a jobs brokerage model, with each program being developed in collaboration with businesses and Registered Training Organisations across a diverse range of industry sectors.
Entry level skills are identified by employers and delivered as part of a program that includes skills training, work experience and employability skills directly aligned with real job opportunities.
"The work-readiness program I developed with CRAM and Wesley Vocational Institute included formal training incorporating five units from the Certificate III Individual Support, work placement throughout CRAM's group homes in the Illawarra, together with the mentoring and support they needed for success," Mr Fairweather said.
"We now have graduates of the program being offered jobs in the disability sector, which is a terrific outcome."
Read more: Saying YES to finding jobs for more youth
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