Souths Cares Barranggirra team is celebrating the success of 11 young men who graduated from the EmPower pre-apprenticeship course yesterday.

The EmPower pre-apprenticeship program is a partnership between Endeavour Energy and St. George TAFE which provides Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander learners with the knowledge, skills and experience to kick-start their Electrical Apprenticeships and careers.

The initiative has been running for the past six years and has had over 220 learners complete the course. For the first time, Souths Cares Barranggirra Program supported the initiative through providing weekly mentoring to each learner as they worked through the eight-week, full time course.

The group of learners ranged in age from 17 years old to 30 years old, the majority of whom had recently completed school or had left school early and were exploring their career pathways.

The holistic and comprehensive pre-apprenticeship course included numeracy and literacy skills, theory components of the electrical trade, practical workshops through St. George TAFE and work experience placements with Endeavour Energy.

A highlight for the group was their work-experience placements at Endeavour Energy’s Hoxton Park Service Centre where they honed their skills in wiring electrical circuits, climbing power poles, setting up safety equipment and changing lights.

The group learning how to safely climb power poles as part of their training

Dillon Williams is one of the graduates who completed the EmPower course. Prior to commencing the course, he had a period of unemployment after breaking his leg and was lacking confidence, however thrived in the supportive learning environment.

Dillon Williams, EmPower graduate

Over the 8 weeks of the EmPower program I was shown hands on skills and I feel more determined than ever to start an Apprenticeship. I gave it my all and was determined to finish the course to make my family and myself proud.

All graduates from the course have been offered employment interviews with Endeavour Energy, with excelling in their interviews the final milestone to commencing their Electrical Apprenticeships. Souths Cares Barranggirra mentors will support each graduate at their upcoming interview and continue to provide support as they complete their trades.

Barranggirra Employment and Training Mentor, Ebony Chalker explained the collaborative approach and supportive environment created throughout the course led to some great outcomes.

"It’s been a pleasure to be able to mentor the boys throughout their training journies and watch their confidence grow. The TAFE teachers and the Endeavour Energy team did a fantastic job creating a safe and supportive environment for learning which enabled the boys to thrive", Ebony said.

Souths Cares Barranggirra Program is proudly supported by Training Services NSW.

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