Greater Geelong’s RISE construction apprenticeship and jobs program has won the Community Collaboration category at the 2019 Economic Development Australia Awards for Excellence.

The award celebrates RISE’s community building achievements in preparing work-ready apprentices for the local construction industry. The collaborative work preparation program addresses both youth unemployment and trade skill shortages in the region.

Since RISE started in July 2018, 66 participants have signed up for the program, 38 participants have graduated and 24 graduates have been placed in apprenticeships.

These figures are equal to a graduate employment rate of 63 per cent and a program completion rate of 58 per cent, well above year 12 completion rates for the region.

The early success demonstrates RISE’s effectiveness as an alternative career pathway for students and provides a solid foundation to roll out the program to greater numbers of students.

As well as providing a Certificate II in Construction Pathways, trade skills, equipment and work experience, RISE prepares apprentices for the workplace with team building, work ethic and communication training.

Led by the City of Greater Geelong and funding partner Gforce, RISE is supported by a strong network of industry and training organisations including The Gordon TAFE, Master Builders Victoria, Urban Development Institute of Australia, Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network, Northern Futures, Hamlan Homes, Dennis Family Homes and Lyons Construction.

Find out more about RISE at www.risegeelong.com.au

Economic Development Australia is the national peak body for economic development professionals. Its prestigious national awards program recognises Australia’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing campaigns, and the year’s most influential leaders.

City of Greater Geelong Mayor, Stephanie Asher:
“This national award is deserved recognition for an initiative that’s having a positive impact on the lives of young people in our region. The program also helps to address the skills shortage in the local construction industry, which is thriving thanks to our growing population and high number of new commercial buildings.

“Congratulations to all involved, and especially to the RISE graduates who have now started their new careers.”

GForce CEO, Rob Birch:
“As one of a number of stakeholders involved in the program, the EDA Award is testament to the hard work that all have put in to support youth, apprenticeships and industry.

“Gforce is incredibly proud to be the funding partner of the RISE initiative, a program which is making a significant difference to participants and employers in the construction sector in our region.”