Program tailors for readiness

This has been a life-changing experience for all involved.

READY: JobQuest joined Castle's community movement to put inclusion on the agenda of businesses in the region and pledged their support for The Inclusive 100.

READY: JobQuest joined Castle's community movement to put inclusion on the agenda of businesses in the region and pledged their support for The Inclusive 100.

Earlier this year, Castle partnered with local asset maintenance company JobQuest to develop a tailored Job Readiness program to address a skills shortage in the Lake Macquarie area in the industry sector of grounds and asset maintenance.

The individualised program focuses on the strengths of the people participating and utilises the unique skills people bring with them from their lives.

"We've developed this course together with JobQuest using a funding model which gives all the tickets, background checks, communication skills and practical training to prepare the person for work in the sector," Daniel Gibson, Castle's Regional Manager in the Lake Macquarie region, said.

JobQuest joined Castle's community movement to put inclusion on the agenda of businesses in the region and pledged their support for The Inclusive 100.

The Inclusive 100 encourages businesses to hire a person living with a disability and raise awareness regarding the inequities faced by disadvantaged cohorts in our communities.

Since May this year more than 60 employers, like JobQuest have made this pledge.

The concept fits into the existing ethos of JobQuest, who have a focus on employing people who have faced adversity in their lives and need someone to give them a chance.

JobQuest's existing contracts see them maintain the properties of social housing and the model they have developed with Castle demonstrates that people from a disadvantaged background or circumstance, can come together, learn skills and apply them for the benefit of other people experiencing the same life challenges as they are.

"This has been a life-changing experience not only for the participants in the course, but for all involved - their families, friends and their communities," Daniel said.

"We have seen an almost 90% success rate from training program to employment.

"Supporting people every step of the way is what we do at Castle and with the assistance of JobQuest, we have been able to see the majority of participants in this course not only secure employment as a result, but thrive in their new roles because of what they learnt. It is so rewarding."

To find out more about Castle or The Inclusive 100 campaign, visit www.castle.org.au/inclusion or call 1300 817 917 to speak to a local team member today.