E2E success prompts program’s expansion

Published on 13 September 2021

E2E participant Breanna Harding on a construction site at Dudley.jpg

An innovative Lake Macquarie City Council program kickstarting the careers of young people and providing new employment opportunities for women and people in the Aboriginal community is set for a major expansion.

More than 100 school-leavers and other trainees have passed through the Education to Employment (E2E) program since its inception in 2015, working in everything from administration and customer service to heavy vehicle maintenance and road construction.

CEO Morven Cameron said plans were underway to double the annual intake within the next few years.

The 2022 E2E intake, which opens this week, includes 22 positions, five of which are specifically for people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, and five of which are for females in non-traditional trade roles.

“Most E2E participants have gone on to find full-time jobs, demonstrating the value of a program like this,” Ms Cameron said.

“Their ongoing success has given us great motivation to expand E2E, in turn increasing the number of skilled young people in our local workforce.”

Talent Acquisition Coordinator Penny Howell said part of the plan to expand the E2E program was to create positions designated for young people with disability.

“We want to ensure a rich, diverse workforce with employment opportunities for people of all backgrounds and abilities,” she said.

E2E participant and Trainee Works Assistant Breanna Harding said she enjoyed the diversity of her position, particularly after rotating through different departments and responsibilities.

“If you reach out and go after things, they’ll support you to do that,” the 21-year-old said.

“I’ve got my MR (medium-rigid) truck licence for example. So, if you’re ready to get in there and give things a go, I’d say go for it.”

The E2E program has evolved since its introduction, with many participants now rotating through various teams to get a more comprehensive overview of Council and to get a deeper wealth of experience before they continue their careers.

“We host regular catch-ups to check in on E2E participants, which is particularly important during COVID lockdowns,” Ms Howell said.

“We also provide support to help them find a job at the end of the program.”

Council will host a virtual E2E ‘careers fair’ on Tuesday 14 September, providing an outline of the program, information about the various roles on offer and live conversations with current participants.

To find out more and register for the online careers fair, go to Eventbrite.com.au.