Community maintenance project protects against hazards

A new eight-person community maintenance team has been appointed in Hope Vale. It follows seven weeks of preparation, work experience and training. The team are clearing yards and maintaining gardens for residents, to improve cyclone and bushfire safety and pride in community appearance.

My Pathway and partners in the Cook region are delivering a paid work experience program that aims to create new employment. It supports participants to undertake seven or thirteen weeks of work experience and training.

My Pathway Regional Manager, Josie Flores, said the program provided the chance for employers to trial workers and assess the potential value of roles.

“Our paid work experience program supports participants to enhance job readiness, build skills and achieve qualifications, all while earning an income,” she said.

“Employers who can provide safe work opportunities benefit from additional labour, the chance to trial potential employees and test the viability of new roles.”

The recent work experience program was hosted by Hope Vale Foundation. They have since created eight new roles to undertake community maintenance and construction projects. The new employees are currently clearing yards for up to five residences each day and will progress to cemetery refurbishment and other infrastructure updates.

Community maintenance employee, Travis Bally, said that respect and mateship had underpinned his experience, and he was motivated to keep improving his community.

“We’ve been able to go through this experience together. We’re all good mates and work as a team,” he said.

“I’ve done labouring roles before, but this work allows me to give back to the community and help out people who don’t have access to lawn mowers or tools. It’s about making things safer and tidier and showing respect for our community.

“Now that I have this job, I keep thinking about how we get in more equipment and more training for our young people. I’ve been talking to the boys and saying we need to do quality jobs that people would be happy to pay for. I think I could maybe even make my own little team one day.”

The work experience program is available to employers in the Cook region who can provide work experience for participants. All employment preparation, support, insurances, payroll and training are coordinated through the CDP. The most successful participants may be directly employed by their host employer or will become a preferred candidate for future vacancies.