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Working together to get students Ready4Work

By Fiona West | May 27, 2022
Some of the graduating Ready4Work students, with h&h trainer Olivia Brettle (second from right).

A collaborative work-readiness project has seen a group Navitas Skilled Futures students grow in the skills and confidence to take the first step towards a career in aged and disability care.

The students, who graduated from the Ready4Work course at Liverpool this week, are now moving on to complete a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability), and then into the aged care workforce, where there is a shortage of skilled workers.

The course, managed by the Islamic Women’s Association of Australia (IWAA), was made possible by a Department of Immigration grant and the involvement of Navitas Skilled Futures – which provided relevant English lessons – and h&h, accredited trainers in aged & disability care.

IWAA Sydney Manager Sue Hamdoush (second from left) presents a graduation certificate to Xiaomin Ling (with trainers L-R Sarah and Olivia).

Sue Hamdoush, Sydney Manager of IWAA, said the successful course was a great example of organisations working together in the interests of migrants and refugees, and Australian society, by helping to fill employment gaps and empowering new Australians to live their best lives.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” Ms Hamdoush said.

“The course provided students with everything they need to prepare to enter the aged care and disability workforce. It is the second time we have run it, and both times the students have impressed us with their motivation and dedication.

“IWAA employed three students from last year’s course, and within four months of them working with us they had all achieved ‘Employer of the Month’, which is a big thing considering we have 78 support workers to choose from.

“This course produces stand-out employees.”

The eight-week Ready4Work course, which ran from March to May, covered three key Units of Competency from the Cert III and included a First Aid Certificate, Police Check, an Android tablet for training, English lessons, 10 hours of free driving lessons, job-seeking skills, 40 hours of work placement, and a uniform and shoes.

Made up of a mix of ages and nationalities, the participants all bonded well and motivated each other, with a strong desire to help people in the community who needed them.

Ready4Work graduates celebrate with staff from IWAA, Navitas Skilled Futures and h&h at Liverpool College.

Xiaomin Ling, from China, said she was driven to do the course after visiting her husband’s parents in aged care and seeing how understaffed centres affected patient care.

“Each week I go with my husband to visit my mother-in-law and father-in-law in a nursing home and it made me interested in looking after older people,” she said.

“I think they do not have enough staff and sometimes the service is not good. They cannot walk and so they sit in a chair all day. I want to make it better for people like them. So I need to get my certificate so I can work and help older people.”

Xiaomin said while studying the AMEP she has been working several jobs in Australia, including working at a coffee shop, Chinese restaurant and as a cleaner. But she has now given up work entirely to concentrate on her future career.

Elia Kasouha receives his certificate from Sue Hamdoush.

One of two men in the group, Elia Kasouha said he came to Australia from Lebanon six months ago and was grateful for the opportunity to do this course. He particularly liked learning First Aid, so he could have useful life skills that extend into the community.

He now hoped to complete the Cert III and start working in Aged Care.

“It’s about helping people,” he said.

“It’s good for me to help. I am so grateful to be here and I want to be able to help other people. I can now help older people who need our help.”

Navitas Skilled Futures Liverpool Academic Team Leader Maya Kaszynski spoke at the graduation ceremony and told students “the sky is the limit” when they believed in themselves.

“We want to thank IWWA for this collaboration and h&h for coming on board,” she said.

“It’s been easy to work with all parties and beautiful to see we can prepare these program participants for their future careers so they can do well and live fulfilling lives.”

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