Building successful families in the Murraylands

Building success: RDA Murraylands and Riverland employment and training project manager Jessica Ziersch and Workskil family engagement coordinator Mandy McPherson chat about building successful families throughout the Murraylands.
Building success: RDA Murraylands and Riverland employment and training project manager Jessica Ziersch and Workskil family engagement coordinator Mandy McPherson chat about building successful families throughout the Murraylands.

More unemployed Murraylands families are being connected with their education, employment and training preferences thanks to the region's five-month-old program, Building Successful Families.

Since May this year the program has provided support to and changed the lives of more than 40 participants, with five now employed and more than half a dozen enrolled in training courses.

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Murraylands and Riverland employment and training project manager Jessica Ziersch said the program was a collaboration between all job service providers.

"What we like about this program is it's a collective model where a group of organisations have come together on one issue," she said.

"We (RDA) put the application up and got it approved and tendered it out to an organisation; Workskil was the successful provider."

Unemployed Murraylands residents aged between 16 and 49 years old who are currently registered with Job Services Australia or Disability Employment Service providers are eligible to take part in the program.

Ms Ziersch said the program could refer eligible people to a training course in a high-demand industry which would help them gain local employment and build confidence within their families.

"There are high levels of jobless families and entrenched unemployment in the Murraylands," Ms Ziersch said.

"Once you get one person employed in a family the economic benefits are unbelievable - it gives other family members the confidence."

Workskil family engagement coordinator Mandy McPherson said the program not only looked at a person's employment situation but other factors contributing to unemployment.

"We look at their family life and we look at what's stopping them gaining employment, study or whatever it may be they want to do," she said.

"It really is a whole life thing; I know the ins and outs of all my clients.

"It's mainly working over their barriers first, but it's also about giving the client the confidence to go out and get employment themselves."

Ms McPherson said, based on feedback from doctors, psychiatrists and youth workers, there was a high demand for the program in the region.

Building Successful Families is an initiative of the Government of South Australia and is a Skills for Jobs in Region project delivered in partnership with the RDA Murraylands and Riverland.

Comments