Employment and education are crucial to breaking the cycle of disadvantage. Our accredited courses in business, aged care, community services, hospitality and other topics support people to develop their skills, build their careers and fulfil their life goals. We work closely with employers from all industries to ensure our students—including those with disability, injury or health conditions—are workplace ready with the skills employers are looking for.
Helping young people achieve their career goals
We believe education is a powerful tool which can help young people reach their potential and achieve their life goals. Each year, the Wesley Dalmar Scholarship financially supports young people with tertiary education.
In 2018/19, five Wesley Dalmar Scholarships were awarded to students who receive foster care through Wesley Mission. Two recipients are completing university courses: Bachelor of Psychology and a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts. Three students are studying courses at TAFE: Commerce, Community Services and Animal Studies.
Scholarship funds not only cover the cost of course fees but educational and living expenses including text books, travel expenses and rent.
Since its inception, 22 scholarships have been awarded with one completed, three recipients nearing the end their courses and another three who are two-thirds of the way through their courses.
One of the first recipients who completed a course in Graphic Design successfully found employment in her chosen field. Another student who has almost finished their apprenticeship, has started working as a sole trader. Another has just completed her first social work placement.
Through Wesley Take Charge of Your Life, a program which supports young people aged 15 to 25 as they transition from out-of-home-care to living independently, we’re also supporting students with developing necessary life skills. Many scholarship recipients have learnt how to juggle study, work and day-to-day living through the program.
Mapping out meaningful careers for our clients
Here at Wesley Mission we walk alongside people to help them achieve their goals. The NSW Government offered us funding to run Career Pathways, a 12-month pilot program which offered our clients receiving housing assistance, a pathway to the workforce. We helped 109 people achieve their career goals throughout the pilot.
The success of the Career Pathways pilot paved the way for the launch of Opportunity Pathways in 2018/19. For 12 months, our clients who receive social housing assistance can access education, training and practical support to build confidence and independence in the workforce and ultimately achieve their housing and career goals.
They have access to coaching and mentoring, workshops, work experience placements, volunteer opportunities and work retention support.
We also offer practical and financial assistance for transport, childcare and other costs to support those on their journey to achieving their career goals.
Opportunity Pathways has 18 staff now operating in Illawarra Shoalhaven, Mid-North Coast and Hunter and Central Coast regions.
Integrated support for Bowraville community
We endeavour to meet the totality of an individual’s needs and we achieve this through integrated support. In August 2018, we brought together two key community services under one roof in Bowraville: Wesley Youth Accommodation and Wesley ParentsNext. By joining together, this allows participants in each program to access other Wesley Mission services to support all their needs.
Wesley Youth Accommodation has been operating in the Coffs Harbour/Bellingen/Nambucca Valley area for over four years now and for two years in Bowraville. We’ve supported more than 100 young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness over the past year.
Wesley ParentsNext equips parents for future employment by the time their youngest child goes to school. So far referrals have come from Bowraville, Barraganyatti, Macksville and Talarm. The program operates from Bowraville two days per week making it accessible to parents living in Nambucca Valley and surrounding areas.