Four Kempsey students graduated from the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) traineeships program late last year.
The program provides coaching, mentoring and an industry-recognised qualification, along with hands-on paid work experience with a host employer across a range of employment sectors and industries.
Locals James Dumas, Jackson Stevens, Corey Stocks and Taia Stuart all began traineeships in year 10, and over two years completed up to 800 hours of training with their host employers.
Taia completed a Certificate II In Business, but she also received an extra honour when she won the 2020 AES Trainee Chairperson Award, along with a $1,000 prize and trophy.
"I've gained a lot of confidence undertaking this program, and I've also gained the courage to engage with customers, I think I would not be where I am if I did not undertake this traineeship," Tai said.
"I've also gained a lot of knowledge around business services and can apply all my learnings into a business perspective."
Forty-five (45) trainees graduated from their programs in 2020 at ceremonies held in Newcastle, Sydney, Port Macquarie, Moree, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Tamworth and Brisbane.
"It's an impressive show of resilience, commitment and grit to see so many young Indigenous people across the country successfully complete their traineeship in such an unpredictable and chaotic 2020," AES CEO Kristy Masella said.
"They all navigated the trials of 2020 exceptionally well, completing their HSC, formal traineeship, working part-time, supporting their families and communities, all during COVID. We couldn't be prouder of them."
Over the past 24 years, AES has provided more than 25,000 employment opportunities and 2,500 Traineeships and Apprenticeships to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in urban, regional, rural and remote locations.
More than 50% of AES graduated trainees achieve full-time employment with their host employer, undertake university study or further training, or full-time work with a new employer.
The AES has over 50 new school-based traineeship opportunities available for 2021. Full time apprenticeships and traineeships are also available throughout the year.
For more information on AES and traineeship opportunities, go to https://aes.org.au.
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