Mildura Weekly : Friday July 31 Vol 9 No 38
NEWS 09 FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2015 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU By VINNIE RODI THE group training organisation CVGT Aus- tralia is calling on not-for-profit groups, chari- ties and government organisations/agencies in Mildura to support the Federal Government’s Work for the Dole program. The program – launched nationwide on July 1 – aims to be a ‘vital link’ in helping job seekers transition into full-time employment. Activities established through the program aim to provide job seekers with the chance to learn new skills, improve their chance of find- ing a job, while also providing an opportunity for people to “give back” to their local com- munity. “From July 1 job seekers registered with a ‘job-active provider’ – and who have been on income support for six months or more – may be required to participate in a Work for the Dole activity,” Work for the Dole Mildura co- ordinator, Rod Martin, said. “CVGT Australia is looking for host em- ployers in Mildura and surrounding areas to come on board to offer activities in retail, administration, gardening and maintenance, conservation and rehabilitation, hospitality, warehousing and a number of other areas.” Mr Martin said the initiative aimed to achieve two goals – provide ‘work-like’ expe- riences for job seekers while creating a work- force for not-for-profit and local, State, territo- ry and Government organisations that would otherwise struggle to find volunteers. “The program is targeted at two specific age groups, those between 18 and 30, and those between 30 and 49,” he said. “Our aim is to provide those in the 18 to 30-year bracket with 25 hours worth of activi- ties a week, while those in the 30 to 49-year bracket will complete 15 hours a week. “Those over the age of 49 can volunteer for ‘Work for the Dole,’ with the program manda- tory for anyone between 18 and 30.” Mr Martin said activities should cover a six-month period, with the idea for job seek- ers to spend at least that amount of time par- ticipating in the Work for the Dole program. Different requirements “There will be different work requirements based on the age of the job seeker,” he said. “The other thing that can change how a per- son participates is whether they have part-time employment, if they are caring for someone, or if they are participating in a training pro- gram.” Mr Martin said that while Work for the Dole activities would focus on retail work for not-for-profit stores, warehousing duties, en- vironmental projects, beautifying and restor- ing community facilities and much more, the main aim is to provide job seekers with struc- ture. “Structure is really important,” he said. “It provides people with confidence and self- esteem, and our aim is to put job seekers in a position where they can gain employability skills which will lead to self-sustainable em- ployment. “The key focus is to provide more employ- ment opportunities, with on-the-job experi- ence so valuable. “This program will also provide partici- pants with references and contact to commu- nity and industry, and ideally the aim is to help people move into full-time employment.” Mr Martin said another important aspect of the program was that it would provide vol- unteer and not-for-profit organisations with a workforce without displacing paid employ- ment. “Any activities undertaken would be fo- cused on filling volunteer-type positions, with the goal of passing on skills and knowledge to job seekers,” he said. “The overall aim is to give people an op- portunity to grow skills and confidence, and I think if you have been unemployed for a while it’s important to regain that confidence. “Placing people within a workplace makes them feel part of a team, and provides access to vital links that I think most people take for granted.” Mr Martin said Work for the Dole pro- grams were already in place in the region, with the feedback proving positive. “My role is to set-up these activities and work with host organisations to discuss activi- ties available that could assist the Work for the Dole program,” he said. “While programs should provide job seek- ers with real life skills, they also have to have a community benefit. “A few op shops and government initia- tives have so far come on board, and the real challenge now is to expand the program into other areas.” Mr Martin said there were a number of ways that host organisations can get involved, and encouraged those interested to contact him on 0407 432 771 for more information. “I’d love to have a chat to groups and or- ganisations about their ideas,” he said. More information about the initiative is available by visiting workforthedoleaustralia. com.au. ‘Work for the Dole’ seeks host organisations • Work for the Dole Mildura co-ordinator Rod Martin is calling on not-for-profit groups, charities and government organisations/ agencies in our area to support the Work for the Dole initiative. IT’S hoped a new ‘transit lounge’ being trialled at Mil- dura Base Hospital will not only free up beds earlier in the day for new patients, but improve the hospital experi- ence for those treated in the facility’s medical and surgi- cal wards. The ‘transit lounge’ was implemented in the hospi- tal’s Wards 2 and 3 earlier this month and is designed to be a safe, supervised area from where suitable patients from these wards can be dis- charged. MBH Nurse Unit man- ager Kristjan Hobbs said the service, which had two main aims, would be trialled for three months. “The service aims to im- prove the experience of pa- tients when it comes time for them to leave the hospi- tal and go home,” Mr Hobbs said. “From the hospital’s point of view, it will also improve the flow of patients right through the hospital because it will free up beds earlier in the day to allow patients to be admitted. “Often patients are ready to leave the hospital but are still waiting for medica- tion, a discharge summary or other documents, or for someone to come to pick them up. “Whereas previously they would have waited in their room, many are happi- er and more comfortable to have a cup of tea and some- thing to eat in a lounge area while they wait.” Mr Hobbs said that once the trial was completed, feedback would be com- piled from both patients and staff before a decision is made to make the lounge permanent. Mildura Base Hospital ‘transit lounge’ trial • IN TRANSIT: Ward 3 Associate Nurse Unit managers Katrina Gates, Bronwyn Turnbull and Lauren Cain in the new ‘transit lounge’.
Friday July 24 Vol 9 No 37
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