Callum Sweeny hopes to one day work in the mines, driving heavy machinery.
Helping the 21-year-old Woonona resident reach his goal will be a job coach at social enterprise Green Connect, under a new program focused on supporting young people facing barriers to employment.
Green Connect general manager Robert Servine said the program, Strive for Success, already had 16 young people on its list, and two job coaches had now started with the organisation.
Mr Servine said the three-year program would provide another layer of support, in addition to what the not-for-profit organisation already did with its work experience programs.
While young people can engage with Strive for Success while undertaking one of Green Connect's existing programs, they do not have to.
Mr Servine said the job coaches could help them achieve their employment goals, whatever they were.
"We always want to improve our systems and programs," he said.
Mr Servine said being young was already an impediment to employment, due to lack of experience and job history, but some young people faced other barriers, including a background of disadvantage, incomplete schooling, and discrimination.
Mr Sweeny became involved with Green Connect almost a year ago after a stay in hospital for his mental health, which he said had "put up quite a few barriers" when it came to employment.
He said his long-term goal was to work in the mines but in the shorter term he was focused on getting back on his feet and securing the appropriate accreditation.
Mr Sweeny hopes the Strive for Success job coach can help him find the right training and find other work, ideally the kind of employment that will give him experience and build his competency.
In the meantime, he continues to both work for and volunteer at Green Connect, where working on the farm cemented his interest in his career goals.
"I've always just grown up liking trucks and excavators and stuff," Mr Sweeny said.
"Then when I was volunteering at the farm I got the chance to jump on an excavator... and I really enjoyed it, and thought it would be a good path to go down."
Funding for Strive for Success has come from the charitable foundation Paul Ramsay Foundation.
Green Connect is an enterprise of the charity Community Resources, which is also launching the program on the Mid North Coast.
Community Resources says the program will support 450 young people across the two sites.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.