More than 20 Work for the Dole participants, including job seekers from Job Prospects South East Melbourne and Peninsula Region, were recently involved in the impressive refurbishment of a caravan to turn it into a unique community resource for the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association in Hastings, Victoria.

Under the supervision of Envision Employment, the hands on project took 26 weeks with participants gaining vital skills in panel beating, coach building and carpentry which will be used to broaden and enhance their job search efforts. A representative from Willum Warrain assisted the group with the traditional art work, which was designed by one of the Elders from the Bunurong Tribe, Aunty Bea.

The caravan will help the Association go out to local schools to teach students about Aboriginal culture and also help local disengaged Aboriginal youth who may be at risk of mental health problems or other social issues.

Mitchell Emmett, Work for the Dole consultant for Job Prospects said he was delighted with the project outcome.

“This project has not only enabled the participating job seekers to gain valuable skills which will assist them in securing long term employment, it has also provided a unique resource to help educate at risk Indigenous young people,” he said.

Envision Employment Director Sean Teer said the program provided assistance and support to job seekers while enhancing local communities.

“We see the Work for the Dole program as an opportunity to run quality projects for really worthy community organisations, such as the caravan we completed for Willum Warrain.

“Our main focus for participants is to teach them real work skills that will assist them in gaining that all-important job and transitioning into the working community,” Mr Teer said.

The caravan was handed over to the Willum Warrain Aboriginal association at a small event in Hastings Victoria attended by The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Industry Innovation & Science, the directors of Envision Employment, Mitchell Emmett from Job Prospects as well as some of the program participants.