A program which supports people from the Scenic Rim to find employment has been recognised by a state-wide skills training initiative.
Carinity Fassifern Community Centre in Boonah has been shortlisted for the Community Training Initiative category of the Queensland Training Awards.
The Community Training Initiative recognises community-based not-for-profit organisations which assist Queenslanders to gain skills, experience, and vocational education and training qualifications.
Carinity Fassifern Community Centre runs the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program, which trains and supports local youth and adults to enter or return to the workforce.
The project has seen more than 60 local people graduate with a Certificate III in Individual Support over the past four years, enabling them to pursue careers in aged care.
Course graduate Jessica Maher previously worked in the kitchen of an aged care home but wanted to provide hands-on support to seniors as a nurse.
Jessica now works as an Assistant in Nursing in the emergency department and orthopaedic and paediatric wards at Ipswich Hospital.
Numerous other people who have undertaken the course at Carinity Fassifern Community Centre, such as Sandi McLean, now work in aged care in the Scenic Rim district.
Sandi enrolled in the course after she had lost her job as a cook at a hotel due to COVID-19.
“I was then doing a home cleaning job which I hated so I gave the course a go and got a job in aged care two weeks into the course,” Sandi said.
“I had never thought of working in aged care, but I absolutely love it. It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.”
Samantha Caves from Carinity Fassifern Community Centre says most of their Skilling Queenslanders for Work course graduates have achieved employment.
“We have successfully run three community work skills projects since 2018 and have trained 64 graduates. Of those participants, 90 per cent have achieved employment within their chosen field,” Samantha said.
“Course participants included women from linguistically and diverse cultures, women re-entering the workforce, people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, disadvantaged job seekers, young people and mature aged job seekers, and job seekers who are under employed.”
The three state finalists for each of the 11 categories of the Queensland Training Awards are set to be announced this week.