Developed by The Prince’s Trust, the ‘Get Into’ pilot program partnered with local organisation SYC to kick off in Adelaide in January of this year following it’s overwhelming success in the UK where it has supported more than 35,000 young people over the past 10 years.
As one of the five industries included in the pilot, the ‘Get Into Social Care’ Program joined forces with local aged care provider ECH to offer the young Australians participating in the program with sector specific skills and work placement to help them gain employment.
Director of Corporate Strategy for SYC Michael Clark says the organisation likes the ‘Get Into Social Care’ program for how it links the two issues of Australia’s ageing population and high youth unemployment rates, particularly in South Australia, together.
“The ‘Get Into Social Care’ program was the first time SYC has delivered an employability program in the aged care sector, so it was a great learning experience,” Mr Clark says.
“The program provides a solution by training young people to fill an ongoing need.
“ECH told us it has an ageing workforce and is changing the way it works with clients to help them maintain their independence and remain in their own homes longer which is creating the opportunity for younger and flexible workers to meet the demands of the changing format of aged care work.”
Participants in the program had a unique opportunity through ECH because it offered them the opportunity to specialise in particular roles either as a carer, administration assistant or grounds person.
“It was a great way to give young people real exposure to work in the sector and also challenge their misconceptions about what a career in aged care entails,” Mr Clark says.
“Many of the participants say they now understand that work in the aged care sector is varied and highly rewarding, and as a result they are now interested in pursuing a career in the industry.”
From the completion of the program, Mr Clark says a number of participants have already received job offers with others planning to gain further qualification in the industry.
“Even those who were not offered positions have gained skills and knowledge from high quality training which they can then use when applying for jobs in the aged care sector or elsewhere,” Mr Clark says.
“Getting young people interested and skilled in aged care means that they have multiple career paths that they could follow in the future.
“It is also a good thing for the industry to have young people who are interested in the work they are doing.”
Following the pilot programs success in Australia and the employment and learning opportunities it provided, SYC says they will continue to support programs like this in the future with The Prince’s Charities Australia Chief Executive Janine Kirk seconding that.
“We have been delighted with the outcomes of the pilot programs to date and look forward to expanding the programs across Australia to assist more young people,” Ms Kirk says.