Community, heritage and connectedness are important to us at JobQuest. We deliver a range of programs to help build more cohesive and inclusive communities.
These programs are often found in areas with significant growth or with emerging or changing communities including new or expanding cultural groups.
Western and South Western Sydney and the Hunter are major areas targeted.
Many of our Youth Programs assist young students identified as being at risk of leaving school, usually due to having displayed anti-social behaviour. We also provide vocational skills programs in schools as an adjunct to academic learning.
Supporting these students to develop strong ties to each other and to the community at large has been one strategy for overcoming many of the obstacles faced by such students. In these programs the participants are encouraged to become involved in community outreach programs.
Some of examples of our community engagement strategies have been - organising a food drive for local homeless people, helping out at a women’s crisis refuge, undertaking projects in aged care and child care facilities and undertaking work experience in charity organisations such as Ronald McDonald House and St Vincent de Paul stores.
These opportunities help participants to develop skills and confidence in themselves and create positive relationships with the people around them who come from many walks and stages of life, and often culturally diverse communities, especially in Western Sydney.
We work with migrant, refugee and other newly-arrived people in our regions who are also helped to develop employability skills that suit their new community environment.
Using interactive and fun activities JobQuest staff help participants develop their communication skills and engage in ongoing relationships with peers and others in order to build self confidence and plan for a positive future.
Our HIPPY Program in Windale near Newcastle is another excellent example of community engagement as our program staff mentor the parents of young children in their homes, and at the centre, to assist their engagement and support of their child's early education.
Employment programs have always been a strong focus for JobQuest - hence the name. Our current strategy involves providing employment for disadvantaged people or those who have difficulty maintaining employment in our Social Enterprises. The employees can work providing cleaning or grounds maintenance services in our various communities. These services are provided to the aged under CHSP, Home Care Packages and Veterans Home Care and to people living with disability through the NDIS.
This part of our operation provides benefit to the employees and to the customers and clients of our services and is an important pillar of our community engagement strategies.
Our Training Services work with a wide range of people to develop skills for work. Our students may be people undertaking traineeships, school students, unemployed people wanting to enter the workforce or people in the community wanting to undertake any of our various programs to help them prepare for work, learn about technology, increase their skills or just connect with others.