Flinders MP Greg Hunt visited the Western Port Community Centre on Thursday to inspect a caravan that had been refurbished by a group of Work for the Dole participants.
Mr Hunt said the project had helped provide participants with valuable skills in woodwork and metalwork.
“It was a pleasure to meet with members of Western Port Community Centre, Envision Employment and participants of its Work for the Dole program and see the fantastic caravan they have refurbished,” Mr Hunt said.
“Under the supervision of Envision Employment, participants have restored a caravan that will be used by Western Port Community Centre to educate the community about healthy eating.
“This is exactly what the Coalition’s Work for the Dole program is all about – improving outcomes for the community while giving people the skills they need to secure long-term employment.”
Mr Hunt said the Work for the Dole program helped to give participants the skills they needed to go out and secure permanent work.
“Youth unemployment is a big challenge in the Hastings area, which is why programs like these are so important,” Mr Hunt said.
“The feedback from this project has been overwhelmingly positive, both from the community and from the participants.
“What is even more exciting is that some of these participants have already secured long-term work as a result of this project.”
Participant Pierre Du Toit has gone on to become a paid supervisor on the project.
“I was lucky that just two weeks into the project I was offered a permanent role,” Mr Du Toit said.
A jeweller by trade, Mr Du Toit found it difficult to secure work in Victoria after moving here from Western Australia.
“The project has been fantastic, especially for the young blokes involved,” Mr Du Toit said.
“The project gave them invaluable skills in woodwork and metalwork and working as a team really helped to build their confidence.
“I’m really proud of the project and of what we have created.”
Envision Employment Director Sean Teer said the program provided assistance and support to job seekers.
“At Envision we see the Work for the Dole program as an opportunity to run quality projects for really worthy community organisations, such as the caravan we completed for Westernport Community Support,” Mr Teer said.
“Our main focus for participants is to teach them real work skills that will assist them in gaining that all-important job and transitioning into the working community.”