REFAP helping young people engage with their futures

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A group of 17 and 18-year-olds who are disengaged from school are benefitting from a new program to equip them for vocational training and/or employment.

The Youth Engagement Program (YEP) is a 15 week program for young people in Karratha, Roebourne and Onslow. It is run by REFAP with the support of North Regional TAFE and the Department of Education, with assistance by Apprenticeship Support Australia.

As part of the Program, participants complete a Certificate 1 in Leadership, as well as literacy and numeracy support courses, and a St John’s First Aid course. They also cover part of a Certificate 1 in Construction.

REFAP Coordinator, Kyle Bartlett said YEP is specifically designed to reconnect young people of Year 11 and 12 compulsory school age with education and training, and prepare them for the world of work.

“Around 8 young people attend our current Youth Engagement Program,” Kyle said.

“From 9am – 12pm, TAFE provides classroom teaching on leadership and work preparation skills. From 12pm – 2pm, the participants get hands-on construction experience in the workshop.

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“The guys are currently learning to patch gyprock, and are building and painting their own workbench,” he said.

The first YEP program is now in its final weeks and there are plans to hold another one in 2018. In order for people to enrol, a signed referral is required from their school, receipted by the Department of Education. There is no cost to parents/guardians and transport and lunch are provided.

Kyle said REFAP is looking for traineeships or apprenticeships for the current intake of participants, who will graduate on December 1.

“Our aim is to get the YEP participants ready to succeed in the workplace, and then help them find opportunities to do that,” he said.