AN INNOVATIVE program that helps secondary school students build practical skills and access employment and training opportunities is already proving to be a success.
Participants in the new Passport 2 Employment program are only halfway through the eight-week course but organisers say they are already taking huge steps forward.
The program, which runs throughout term two, was instigated by the Glenelg Transition Action Network (GTAN) and funded by Western District Employment Access (WDEA).
Eleven participants from four schools meet weekly to develop their communication, presentation and life skills, nutrition and fitness knowledge and to explore the pathways available to them after they complete secondary education.
Highlights have included a boxing session, cooking and sharing a healthy lunch, receiving hygiene packs and taking part in an “Amazing Race” type challenge.
Students will visit the Portland Industrial Laundry, Portland Strawberries, Daly’s IGA and Treloar’s Roses during an industry tour today to learn more about local employment opportunities. Students will also enjoy a group lunch at the Tea Tree Gallery.
GTAN member Cathryn Walder said the students were already exceeding expectations, with teachers and caregivers reporting improvements in many areas.
“It’s really inspiring to see the participants actively engaging with the program, presenters and each other,” Mrs Walder said.
“We have already seen that their confidence has grown hugely and they are stepping out of their comfort zone, trying new things and then applying that in other areas of their lives.”
Passport 2 Employment is being run as a pilot program in 2014 and GTAN hopes to develop and grow it in future years.