The Education, Employment and Training (EET) Programme is a unique programme that aims to prepare young people aged 14 to 16, who are at risk of failing school, for the world of work. Our goal is to teach programme participants basic work skills and encourage them to develop a solid work ethic. We do this by giving them the opportunity to gain real experience of the world of work with all its demands and rewards.
The programme is registered with the Department of Education and Training as a Community Based Programme and caters for young people who have been excluded from school, received multiple suspensions, are chronic truants or school refusers. For a range of reasons, mainstream schooling has not worked for these young people and as such, they have left or are at risk of leaving the education system before passing the compulsory school age. Increasingly, we are also receiving referrals from the Department of Justice and the Department for Child Protection and Family Support as this particular programme is seen as an effective early intervention programme for vulnerable and abused young people heading down a pathway of poor literacy levels, substance abuse and/or crime.
EET has two intakes a year in February and July. Students must be enrolled with a state school in order to be eligible for a place.
Instilling an expectation to work
Since its inception in 1984, the programme has developed a reputation in the community as an effective model for giving disaffected young people the opportunity to turn their lives around and become positive contributors to their society. The young people joining the programme have a history of failure and a lack of opportunities and in turn find themselves educationally or emotionally not ready to enter the work force but also not able to continue at school. With little education and few skills, their future is fairly bleak with unemployment as their likely long term prospect. The programme aims to prevent this slide into unemployment by instilling in these young people a desire and an expectation to work.
We encourage young people to seek apprenticeships and traineeships which provide them with stable, prosperous employment for their entire working lives.
Many of our participants have gone on to successful careers in the building and construction, mining and automotive industries yet we are not limited by those careers. Other young people leaving our programme have pursued a diversity of careers including painting, metal work, hospitality and animal care. The EET Programme assists 20 young people per year, with a record around 80% of the young people leaving the programme to move on to employment, vocational training or further study.
Overcoming Obstacles to Employment
Before success can be achieved, however, a number of obstacles in the lives of these young people need to be addressed – including poor literacy and numeracy, low expectations and a lack of direction. Individualised plans and goals are created to assist participants to overcome their own obstacles. In six months, we provide them with mentorship, support and practical skills to assist them to overcome these obstacles. The programme includes:
- Daily intensive educational support from qualified teachers; with young people enrolled in Certificate I and II of General Education for Adults (CGEA), a nationally recognised qualification; and
- Employment as trades assistants. The young people work alongside experienced supervisors who teach them about safety, workplace communication and show them the standard of work expected by employers.
This important work can only be achieved if we continue to receive the support of the local business community in the form of sponsorship and work experience placements for our young people. Without their support, this programme would not be so successful at giving these young people another chance at success in their future.
The difficulties and lack of opportunity that unskilled, poorly educated young people face are enormous and the anti-social behaviour that stems from it costly for the community. The Education, Employment and Training Programme provides new hope to this often forgotten group of young people by providing them with a chance to become contributors, rather than dependents, to society.
Box 11, Cale House
52 The Crescent
Midland WA 6056