IMPACT Community Services has a new weapon in the fight against Bundaberg's youth unemployment problem and her name is Katie Owen.

IMPACT's Transition to Work (TtW) team was awarded a big allotment of funded places by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, and needed some fresh minds and hands keen to take on the challenge, and Katie answered the call.

“We needed someone to replace a recently-vacated position and now Katie has come on board to be our third team member,” said TtW Team Leader Laura Bray.

“Katie has had several years experience in employment services and is a valuable addition to the team.”

Katie is a Youth Transition Coach and has a case load of 90 people that she will help move into employment or gain the appropriate training to improve their employability.

She started on July 1 and is fitting in well with the team.

“So far my experience with Transition to Work AND IMPACT has been fantastic,” Katie said.

“Sam, Troy and Laura have welcomed me into the team and made me feel right at home.

“It’s been great to see the strong relationships they’ve built with their clients where they can speak freely and know they’ll have a listening ear, ready to help. I’m very excited to see what comes next.”

It's been a good year for the TtW team, meeting all their targets.

The team was handed 93 additional funded places from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and also got a massive referral from Services Australia (Centrelink) because of COVID-19 affecting so many people.

And the coronavirus restrictions mean that some of their work practices needed adjusting.

The regular weekly face-to-face meetings had to be scrapped and went to phone calls instead.

“We're working with COACT on developing digital services including Zoom, and online activities that participants can do to assist their efforts at gaining a job,” Laura said.

“The department is being appropriately cautious and there is no talk of going back to normal services just yet, so most things will remain digital until further notice.”

The demand for jobs is so high that the team is still looking for another member. For more information about this position go to https://bit.ly/3jnEvam

The TtW team assists school leavers and young people (15-24) to understand what is expected in the workplace and develop the skills, attitudes and behaviours employers want. They can provide young people with access to a strong network of employers. They also support with:

  • Identifying employment opportunities in the local area
  • Developing practical skills to get a job
  • Finding and participating in internship and work experience placement opportunities
  • Connecting with education or training
  • Finding appropriate apprenticeship and traineeships
  • Connecting with relevant local community services

To find out more about Transition to Work call 0429 232 653 or go to https://www.impact.org.au/transition-to-work