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New youth unemployment program will benefit SMEs hungry for ‘fresh talent’

The Victorian Government has contributed more than a million in funding towards a program that will help unemployed youth into jobs in the technology sector. According to Roger Antochi of Talent RISE, one of two organisations delivering the program, it will also benefit SMEs hungry for ‘fresh talent’ and innovative muscle.

The $1.2 million Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN) grant is being used by the not-for-profit foundation and PeoplePlus Australia, an employment support and training services company, to deliver training and employment opportunities to Victorian youths over the next 2 ½ years.

Under the program, participants receive ongoing support and assistance to find and retain employment in the tech space, with each guaranteed a work placement of at least 26 weeks.

An increased ability to adapt to digital change

Antochi, the program manager with Talent Rise, told Dynamic Business that the program won’t just help break the cycle unemployment for young people and open their eyes to the world of innovation and technology, it will directly benefit the SMEs that get on board.

“Many SMEs struggle to keep pace with this constantly-changing technology landscape whereas young people are, by and large, naturally tech-savvy, enthusiastic and forward-thinking,” he said.

“By employing young people who are interested in tech, SMEs can help foster an internal culture that’s more innovative, vibrant and flexible while increasing their ability to adapt to digital change. Given that that 70% of tomorrow’s jobs haven’t been invented yet, employing young people who have benefited from the program’s training and have work-ready skills in the tech space is a good move for SMEs.”

A win/win outcome for both parties

Antochi said the Talent RISE and PeoplePlus program includes a strong emphasis on nurturing and coaching participants, pre-placement and post-placement.

“This is a huge advantage to SMEs who often find it difficult to allocate resources to properly mentor young employees,” he said.

“Our team also works closely with SMEs to identify the roles within their organisation that would suit entry-level candidates. Small businesses in particular may not always have the right skills and resources to assist with the recruitment and on-boarding process. That’s why we spend time getting to know each party, and conduct pre-screening interviews and reference checks to ensure young potential employees are the right cultural fit for the employer. Our goal is to achieve a win/win outcome for both parties that works long-term.

Antochi encouraged SMEs to join the Talent RISE and PeoplePlus program to work with Talent RISE and PeoplePLUS to create opportunities for young people in Victoria who are ‘struggling to land that crucial first career break’.

“Participating SMES not only create opportunities for young people who are struggling to land that crucial first career break, they stand to gain tremendous advantages by bringing fresh talent into their organisations,’ he said.

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James Harkness

James Harkness

James Harnkess previous editor at Dynamic Business

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