Story courtesy the Koori Mail
LOCAL cafes and large corporations mixed with Job Ready program students and graduates at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence’s job networking event, Job at First Bite. The event, in Sydney, was about finding ways to partner for sustainable employment, and the companies attending included Stockland, Fresh Catering, Harry’s Cafe, Park Cafe on Chalmers, Clem’s Chicken, Gardiners Lodge, Sodexo and Compass. Over a lunch prepared by chefs Mat Cribb, Jaye Tyrrell and some of the Job Ready team, 10 job offers were made and future commitments locked in.
The NCIE’s Job Ready program, which offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the Certificate II in Hospitality, is led by Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo and Mat Cribb. The program is designed to support graduates for many years after they finish the course.
“Many of our students are facing so many challenges and I’m privileged to be able to support all participants and be surrounded by them here today,” Aunty Beryl said.
“Job Ready trains 60 people every year and assists them into employment, and we keep in touch with graduates from many years ago.
“Sometimes it takes more than an eight-week course to assist someone into employment. The mentoring and support we offer always goes above and beyond what a normal training centre would offer.”
One of the first graduates, in 2006, was Bundjalung and Wiradjuri woman Lisa Mundine, who now runs her own business.
“The course was more than just about learning skills; we were encouraged to think about other industries, and given help to go on and keep going,” she said.
“I want to work with my people, help our mob, and everyone here has the same goal.”
NCIE chief executive Kirstie Parker said the next Job Ready course at the NCIE starts next month.
“Job Ready gives young people the confidence to realise their full potential and gives them the tools to pave the way to a successful career,” she said.
“We’re so proud of the achievements of the graduates; the program has shown to be an asset to both the young people and their communities.”