Greater Geelong’s Regional Industry Sector Employment program (RISE) has been recognised for its contribution to youth employment and skills development in the region, with the program confirmed as a finalist in the 2019 Victorian Training Awards.

Now in their 65th year, the prestigious awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in the state’s Vocational Education and Training sector.

RISE, a collaboration led by the City of Greater Geelong, funded by Gforce Community Fund and bringing together supporting organisations The Gordon, Master Builders Association of Victoria – Geelong section, Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network, Northern Futures, Whittington Works, Dennis Family Homes, Hamlan Homes and Lyons Construction, is one of three finalists in the Industry Collaboration Award category.

This award recognises exemplary skills development collaborations between employers or industry bodies and organisations delivering nationally recognised training.

The RISE program was developed when local construction industry representatives approached the City for help to address a skills shortage in our region.

With a particular focus on young people, RISE provides work preparation and skills training and connects participants with employers to provide a steady supply of apprentices to the construction industry.

Participants graduate with a Certificate II in Construction Pathways from the Gordon and a construction industry White Card, plus work experience, skills and mentoring.

The program’s emphasis on building self-confidence and exposure to real-world work experience, supported by ongoing mentoring, are important points of difference and key to its ongoing success.

Four RISE groups have graduated since the program began in July 2018, with a fifth currently in progress. The program has achieved a completion rate of 61 per cent to date.

If successful at the Victorian Training Awards ceremony in September, RISE will represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards in November.

City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood:

The RISE program is particularly important in that it addresses two needs in our community. It helps young people find a viable career pathway, and at the same time provides much-needed workers for Geelong’s construction industry. The program has achieved some outstanding results so far and I’m looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have as it continues to grow and develop over the coming years.

Gforce Chief Executive Officer Rob Birch:

Gforce is pleased to partner with the City of Greater Geelong and supporting organisations to deliver the RISE program for the Geelong region. This program is invaluable to ensure we fill the needs of our trade shortage areas.