The Lovely Banks Development Group (LBDG) has committed to fund an innovative program that will provide young Geelong people with the best opportunity to find employment in the construction industry.
The Regional Industry Sector Employment (RISE) program, led by the City of Greater Geelong and the Gforce Community Fund, also addresses the shortfall of construction workers in Geelong’s booming house-building market.
The RISE program prepares participants for the job market through a combination of formal training, via a Certificate II in Construction Pathways, and informal training to improve interpersonal skills, enhance resume preparation and interview techniques.
The 12-week program introduces participants to potential employers as well as providing some necessary safety equipment and mentoring support for up to 12 months.
LBDG spokesman Todd Devine said the RISE program has proven to be a great success, resulting in fantastic outcomes for the young people who have completed the program.
“We are really pleased that our sponsorship will support a cohort of young people who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to receive the necessary training and mentoring to prepare them for work in the construction industry,” said Mr Devine. “As much as possible, we want to ensure that the broader Geelong community benefits from the opportunities the Lovely Banks development offers, particularly those groups that really need a helping hand.”
The City of Greater Geelong’s Deputy Chair of the Social Inclusion portfolio, Councillor Pat Murnane, said he is pleased the Lovely Banks Development Group will give 15 young people the opportunity to go through this valuable 12-week program.
“The RISE program is a worthy initiative that addresses both youth unemployment and trade skill shortages by teaching young Geelong people the necessary skills to get a job in construction,” Cr Murnane said. “The City congratulates and thanks GForce and the Lovely Banks Development Group for their very important roles in this initiative.”
From 79 participants since the RISE program was established in July 2018, there have been 43 graduates and 33 work placements. In November, the RISE program won the Community Collaboration prize at the 2019 Economic Development Awards for Excellence.
“Over the past 18 months, the RISE program has demonstrated its effectiveness as an alternative career pathway for students, with an outstanding graduate employment rate of 63%,” said Rob Birch, CEO of Gforce, the RISE funding partner. “Gforce is incredibly proud to be a key contributor to this important program and it is great to see other local organisations like LBDG get behind it. We welcome the support of LBDG and look forward to working with them to see more young people find their way to long-term employment.”
Mr Devine said the Lovely Banks Development Group is committed to delivering a world-leading residential community and expects to generate 750 civil construction and home-building jobs on site each year for the 20 years of delivering the project.