Belconnen Workforce Primed and Ready

20 December 2016

The Spark Training and Employment Initiative is one of the most impressive new initiatives in Belconnen this year.  Spark is part of the new Ginninderry development in West Belconnen.  People who are not engaged in the workforce can access training and work experience through Spark, so that they’re ready to take up job opportunities as West Belconnen grows.  On December 15 and 16, two groups of people graduated from Spark Pre-Employment Programs that were provided in partnership with BCS.

The first graduation was for the BCS Childcare Pre Employment program.  The graduates spent the last six months doing work experience in BCS’s Early Childhood Centres.  They all received a Certificate 3 in Childcare and a Senior First Aid certificate. CIT provided their training at BCS Kippax.  Their trainer, Michelle Armstrong said, “The difference with this program is that it’s actually in community so it’s not in a traditional classroom setting.  For students who may have had negative learning experiences previously, they’re able to reconnect with education in a way that’s less confrontational.”

The speeches were heartfelt and tearful at times.  There was barely a dry eye in the house when we screened this moving video.  BCS CEO, Dira Horne said, “It was a beautiful event.  I’m so proud of you all and of what we do.” 

Proof of the success of the BCS Pre Employment Childcare program is that all of the graduates now have casual employment at BCS.

The next day, the West Belconnen Pre Employment Construction Program participants graduated at Canberra City Care in Charnwood. Each graduate received a Certificate 2 in Construction.  The project focused on bricklaying and carpentry.  Thanks to the participants and trainers, the formerly overgrown, neglected courtyard at BCS Kippax is now a beautifully landscaped space to be used for many community activities.  The West Belconnen Construction Pre employment Program also built a community garden in Charnwood for Canberra City Care.  One participant said, “All my life I’ve wanted to be a carpenter, and postponed it. So as soon as I saw the course I was interested, I thought that was for me. Before the program I didn’t have much confidence to go out on the work site, but now I do.” You can see what more participants have to say in this video.

BCS looks forward to being a partner with Spark in more pre-employment training programs in the new year.


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