The strength of the VU Polytechnic Skills & Jobs Centre lies not only in its attendance to individual client needs, but also in strong partnerships with community and local industry, linking training and skills development to relevant employment opportunities and local economy growth.
VU Polytechnic recently delivered its inaugural ‘Skills and Careers: Your Way’ pilot program, a free eight-week program focused on women looking to get back into the workforce or change careers. Women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis and the development of this pilot program both recognised and acknowledged this.
Created by VU Polytechnic’s Industry and Growth team in collaboration with the Skills & Jobs Centre, the program was designed to build skills awareness, networks, and a better understanding of the career and training opportunities available. The program was developed to help bridge the gap between women and access to skills training and employment opportunities by partnering with industry to engage women early-on in the VU Community.
The popular program helped to empower each woman who took part to understand their unique strengths and the diverse range of career paths that are available to them, including trades, health services, hospitality, community services, business and more. The 21 pilot program participants also had the chance to meet 1:1 with mentors from partner organisations. Ongoing support and advice will be offered to all program participants via the Skills & Jobs Centre.
As project sponsor, VU Polytechnic’s Acting PVC Louise Robinson, sees the connection to industry and community as critical to this program: “With approximately 80 per cent of tertiary dropouts in 2020 over the age of 25 being female, it’s critical that we support women and employers to understand the unique role they offer the economy, and to broaden their knowledge of the careers available to them.”
“This course is everything I need right now and I’m sure others in the course would agree with me also. Without even finishing the course I can say that my mindset has completely changed and I already feel empowered to be able to work using my strengths towards something that will be meaningful to me and help others, something that I can truly be passionate about.”
Karen Sant, pilot participant