Congratulations to ten atWork Australia’s ParentsNext participants from Mandurah WA who have just graduated from the final 8-week program of a Regional Employment Trial in the Peel Region called Parents Exploring Employment Pathways (PEEP).
The PEEP program aims to assist participants develop personal and career goals, increase motivation and gain employment skills. The program was launched in late 2019, as part of a collaboration between atWork Australia and Inspire 4 U, a not-for-profit organisation who ran the program. It was made up for five 8-week programs designed for ParentsNext participants that was rolled out over 18 months.
ParentsNext is a free support service funded by the federal government available for parents receiving parenting payments who have a child under the age of six. The program helps parents, while they are caring for their children, to plan and prepare for either study or employment once their child is in full-time school. atWork Australia has a contract to offer ParentsNext services in Perth’s south.
Jacqui D’Vine, atWork Australia’s ParentsNext Manager, said ‘there was a real need for a program like this in the Peel region, which has an unemployment rate higher than the national average. The program has been excellent way to provide these participants with the support and confidence they need to commence their journey to employment. Throughout the entire program we have only received positive feedback from the participants who said that PEEP provided them with a support network that they had not had before,” Jacquie said.
Participants meet for playdates, coffee dates and connect through social media. These friendships and support networks help to increase their sense of confidence in themselves and their future, as well as reduce social isolation.
“The Participants finished the program with an afternoon graduation event that they organised themselves and all ten graduates are continuing with training or employment opportunities that will enable them to achieve their individual career goals.”
The PEEP program provides a supportive space where the participants learn how to set personal and career goals and develop strategies for overcoming barriers. The importance of self-care is also addressed, particularly for parents as they spend a lot of time looking after their family. Each participant receives a work ready makeover and learns about styling and personal presentation for the workplace. The participating parents also develop skills such as managing budgets and how to seek assistance from other community services, if needed.
Inspire 4 U also collaborate with atWork Australia to offer Youth Exploring Employment Pathways (YEEP) program – an 8-week program takes individuals who are seeking to develop their employability skills, on a journey to identify and develop personal goals and discover strategies that can be implemented to assist in their personal success.
See below the PEEP graduates, along with staff from ParentsNext and atWork Australia’s Mandurah office and Inspire 4 U.