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Tools for the Trade a confidence boost for ‘resilient’ Jordi


Jordi (left) with Youth Support Case Manager Sam Mills from Peninsula Youth Services.

BY KIRRALEE NICOLLE 

 

Salvation Army staff offering a workplace training and life skills program to young people are incredibly supportive, says a graduate of the program.


Jordi undertook Tools for the Trade in 2023 at Peninsula Youth Services in Frankston, Victoria.


Tools for the Trade is a nine to 10-week trade-oriented program that seeks to aid young people aged 16-21 who are disengaged from work, education and community opportunities to access pathways, linkages and referrals.


The program provides hands-on experience through trade tasters, accredited courses and learning activities, as well as work placements. It also provides training in more general life and social skills through mentoring, community engagement, health and wellbeing training and team-building activities.


Seven graduates, their friends, family and community members at the ceremony on 28 March.

Jordi gave a speech at the graduation ceremony of the most recent Tools for the Trade graduates.


She joined Tools for the Trade after experiencing severe bullying at school. She said she had found herself in a mental health crisis that lasted about six weeks.


“[I] didn’t go to school; didn’t want to wake up in the morning,” she said.


The school staff placed Jordi in a program called Outreach, where a teacher asked her what she was hoping to do once school ended. Jordi told them she wanted to pursue an electrical apprenticeship while also working in mental health and disability support. The teacher recommended she apply for Tools for the Trade.


Jordi said she thought she might as well shoot her shot, so she did. Two weeks later, she was enrolled. She said the difference between Tools for the Trade and her school experience was quickly apparent. At Tools for the Trade, she was encouraged to speak up or reach out to someone for help whenever she needed it.


“I [came] from not really a supportive school [with] bullying, [where I was] chewed up, spat out and walked all over to open arms, like ‘talk to us, if you need any help, we’re here to support you’,” she said. “I was like, wow, the amount of support that’s around me is incredible. Just phenomenal. I want to go back.”


Jordi with a recent graduate of the program.

The most recent class of seven were celebrated in a ceremony at Mt Martha on 28 March. The event was attended by parents and family members as well as representatives from Peninsula Youth Services, local schools, registered training organisations, The Salvation Army and local police.


Jordi is now completing her Victorian Certificate of Education Major at Chisholm Institute of TAFE, focusing on electrotechnology while working in mental health and disability support.


“I can happily say that I’m a lot more confident,” she said. “[I’ve] gone from ‘I hate life’ to ‘you know what, [I’ll] just let life do its thing’,” she said. “Whatever journey you go on, you go through, and you learn through that.”


“So yeah, it’s just made me feel a lot more resilient.”


Peninsula Youth Services Youth Support Coordinator Michael Tauai at the recent graduation ceremony.

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