When Donna Payne started the Federal Government Regional Employment Trial (RET) pilot program, she was hoping for more than 5 hours a week work and has been pleasantly surprised with the outcome – landing a permanent job.
“I wanted something more than what I was doing in my job – only having limited hours of 5 hours a week was not enough for me,” Donna said.
“I wanted something better for myself so I wasn't relying on the Centrelink benefit and being more excited about work that I like, and feeling better about myself.”
Donna did her three week trial as part of the Federal Government Regional Employment Trial for mature, long-term unemployed at Southern Cross Support Services (SCSS).
“I was excited to be with new people to work with and to work for different clients as well.
“It is so different how SCSS are with their clients – it was exciting and made me feel useful.”
Donna a “natural” for SCSS
Southern Cross Support Services’ Regional Manager Nathan Brown said Donna was a natural for the organisation.
“As part of the program Donna completed work experience and during this time she demonstrated genuine interest and passion to support people.”
“Donna’s employment offer came from her dedication and commitment to the RET Program which was then well supported from feedback received from our clients and staff who shared this experience.”
“Donna has started with SCSS as a paid Support Worker and has already expressed an interest in professional development to support our NDIS and Child Safety Young People.”
Donna is now looking at long-term goals, something she hasn’t been in the position to do up until now.
“I would like to do the Cert 4 in Child Safety and learn more and more about that side of the company.
“My other goal is to have more permanent hours and know what I am doing for the future to make life easier for me and my family.
“Then maybe buy a newer car from the employment.”
Getting involved with Regional Employment Trial
Nathan Brown encouraged other businesses to get involved with the Regional Employment Trial.
“RET is a program with genuine people wanting employment opportunities in our community.
“Council staff have led this program with professionalism and a real intent to support long term unemployed people of the Bundaberg community.
“We thank Council and staff for the opportunity to partner with Council with this program.”
The Regional Employment Trial program (RET) is a partnership between Bundaberg Regional Council and Federal Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment and is supported by key stakeholders including TAFE, CQUniversity, Community Lifestyle Support, Impact Community Services and industry partners.
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