Celebrating Trainee & Apprentice Commencements with State’s New VARP Program

Kathryn Whitfield BeltonCareers, TraineeshipsLeave a Comment

The NECA Education & Careers traineeship team were in Ballarat recently to attend the celebration of 300 apprentice and trainee commencements, a huge achievement, under the Working for Victoria Fund – Victorian Apprenticeship Recovery Package (VARP) program. Our team have been involved with the program since October 2020. The aim of the program is to assist young people aged 15-24 into funded and accredited 12-month traineeships or apprenticeships with Victorian State and Local Government departments or agencies. Other organisations include VicRoads, Victoria Police, primary and secondary schools, health services and water authorities.

As a result of the program, NECA Education & Careers has been able to source employment within multiple State Government Departments across Victoria at a time in which the Victorian economy was drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Young casual workers were also particularly affected by job losses during this time, more likely to lose their job and taking longer to gain another job.

“This program has come at the right time to give young people the opportunity to achieve a qualification through on and off-the-job training. It will also support local communities grow their local skilled workforce for the future,” said Gary Workman, Apprenticeship Employment Network Executive Director.

The state Government in partnership with Apprenticeship Employment Network have come together to deliver the program, backing local communities in the growth of work skills and the delivery of valuable services. Those who take part have the opportunity to gain on-the-job training and invaluable work experience, leveraging them into future pathways.

In addition to metropolitan areas, there is a focus on regional employment, with the inclusion of government hubs in Ballarat and Geelong. Current NECA Education & Careers trainees with the VARP program are working in Sale, Mildura, Warrnambool, Wodonga, Horsham, Morwell, and more.

The VARP program has previously had the support of $9 million in funding by the Working for Victoria initiative, assisting more than 13,000 Victorians state-wide as part of Jobs Victoria’s range of employment services to get people back to work.

Jobs Victoria is also funding youth employment with the $250 million Jobs Victoria Fund, creating thousands of jobs throughout the state for high-level jobseekers. This new program offers subsidies to Victorian employers in support of the growth of their businesses by hiring new employees. To learn more, visit jobs.vic.gov.au.

Krystal Laxton, who is currently completing her business traineeship with the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety in Ballarat, was awarded a certificate of Appreciation by the Minister for Employment, Jaala Pulford MP. “Young people can get a foot in the door, gain new skills and get on the path to a satisfying career.” Minister Pulford said.

As Krystal’s Industry Careers Consultant, Nick Feretis was on hand to congratulate her for the achievement. Recognising achievement is one aspect of the full support given to NECA Education & Careers trainees and apprentices from beginning to end of their placements. Mentoring by Industry Careers Consultants is part of our commitment to the careers of young people and helps ensure a successful placement.

The program has been a great success for NECA Education & Careers. We were able to source employment opportunities within multiple Sate Government Departments across metro and regional Victoria at a time in which the Victorian economy was drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Suzie Smith, NECA Education & Careers Industry Careers Consultant

To date, the VARP program’s achievements include:

21 different cultural backgrounds
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Over 300 apprentices and trainees across 41 qualifications
Apprentices and trainees supporting over 200 different Victorian government agencies

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