July 9, 2014
A UNIQUE free careers information service for young people is being established in Swan Hill and Kerang.
The Pathways Information and Referral Project will be staffed by volunteers trained to help young people and their families find out what options are available for further education, training and employment.
Murray Mallee Local Learning and Employment Network (MMLLEN) senior project officer Judi Stevens said research undertaken last year found there was a great need for such a service.
"As a result of that we’ve decided to set up a Pathways Information and Referral Service targeting young people, aged 15 to 25, and their parents and families," Ms Stevens said.
"This includes young people who are not going to school, and parents who are concerned about their child’s future. They can talk with the volunteers about ways they can help.
"It will be unique to the area. It’s not career planning and it’s not career counselling. It’s more about helping young people to find other options."
Ms Stevens said the service would allow young people to discuss their futures and what they needed to do to achieve their goals.
The volunteers also would help them get the information they needed to get ahead, whether it was from websites, industry organisations, education and training providers, employers or employment services.
Ms Stevens, who works with young people as a student wellbeing co-ordinator, said she was excited about the project.
"In my role, I see some students who’ve left school and they really don’t know where to go or what steps they need to take to achieve their career or work goals," she said.
"Many lack awareness of what jobs are available."
The service will operate in 1 ½ hour sessions at the Swan Hill Regional Library, Swan Hill Neighbourhood House, Sir John Gorton Library, Kerang, and the Kerang and District Community Centre.
The MMLLEN will provide training for volunteers later this month, with the service due to begin operating in August. People interested in volunteering are asked to phone MMLLEN on (03) 5033 2017.