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After leaving school in Year 9, struggling with personal challenges and having limited skills and training, Brendan Davies’ career path had typically followed warehousing and transport logistics jobs, but there is nothing typical about his decision to challenge himself and try something new.
After learning about the OnTrack Employment Program run by the team delivering the METRONET Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal Project, Brendan took the brave step towards applying and ultimately, steered his life and job prospects in a whole new direction.
The 7 weeks OnTrack Employment Program provides training and employment opportunities to unemployed entry-level work-ready individuals like Brendan, helping improve their knowledge and skills in reading and maths, managing money, understanding different cultures and mental health, communicating, handling conflicts and using small tools and equipment. With these new skills in hand, trainees are then offered help to find jobs or apprenticeships.
As Brendan explains, his favourite part of the Program was the Thrive Life Skills, which helped him think about his values, set goals and have honest conversations.
"We talked about the challenges we have faced, and I realised many of us had similar stories. For me to overcome these challenges I had to change my way of thinking. It was hard but I compare it to fixing a house: when a house falls apart you start with the foundation and not the roof, the Program gave me that strong base,” he said.
Brendan certainly did ‘thrive’ and was one of 13 trainees to successfully complete the first round of the Program on 31 May. He was so successful he was hired as the OnTrack Employment Program Coordinator.
"After finishing the Program, I found a stable job and now I can take care of myself and my children. I'm on a path to being the best version of myself and I'm thankful for this chance to follow my passion and help people,” Brendan said.
The OnTrack Employment Program is aligned with the project’s Sustainable Employment Plan which aims to achieve 4% of total project work hours undertaken by Aboriginal people and 5% by entry-level work-ready individuals. The Program is open to people with an Aboriginal background, female job seekers, older job seekers (45+), young people aged 16 to 24, people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and former prisoners.
Sustainable Employment Program Lead, Bianca Howard said the program was a win-win for participants and the project.
“While the participants gain essential skills in financial management, literacy and numeracy, cultural safety and communication, as well as on-site experience operating small plant and equipment, the VPC LXR project also gains access to accredited work-ready employees and contributes to increased equity and diversity in the civil construction industry overall.”
The second OnTrack recruitment day took place on 18 July with 19 individuals invited to participate in round two of the Program starting on 24 July. The third information and recruitment day took place on 5 September. To find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This also helps make the construction industry more diverse and fairer.