Community Partnerships Now The Preferred Way To Give

The recently released "The Giving Australia 2016 project" launched last Thursday includes the most comprehensive analysis of business giving ever conducted in the country. It found that companies are now more interested in building community partnerships that create positive social impact.


We couldn't do what we do without the support of our community partners. 


Westpac are one of our long, long-term partnerships, donating their obsolete PC equipment to our refurbishment program and currently looking at new initiatives that will leverage their talent and resources to help us achieve greater social inclusion.


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Talent RISE came on board recently and have already had a major impact. Their volunteers shared their expertise and advice with our trainees, inspiring and giving confidence to kids who were mostly unemployed since completing their HSC and taking their first steps into the job market.


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These are just two examples of the different ways our partners support our goals. The full list of community partners can be seen on our website. But we're not stopping there! As a profit for purpose social enterprise, we trade so we can use our profits to do good within the community. There are many ways your company can help us continue to do this.

Contact us today if you want to join the growing number of companies who see giving as integral to their business strategy.

Spaciousness - a hidden way to produce results

It seems completely counter-intuitive but time and again in my years of running organisations I've seen this technique produce remarkable outcomes. From young, we've been taught basically one way to work with our mind and that is to force it - to focus, to pay attention, to plan an attack on a problem - which narrows our awareness and squeezes our mind into a tight laser-like space, striving in the direction and manner we had envisioned to make a desired outcome happen.

But what happens when we have no idea how to produce the result that's needed? Or maybe we've never had the kind of mind that fits in the laser focus box and despaired of ever being a high achiever. Are some of us destined to struggle whenever we have to accomplish outside the square of known frameworks?

You might just need spaciousness! It's a different approach altogether where the key is to get clear about what you are aiming for without getting too granular about how to accomplish it. You get started by simply taking the obvious first step without getting paralysed trying to predict or plan the whole enchilada. And then you remain spacious and open until the next step is revealed - without worrying if it's the right one - it's just the next one. This is the epitome of the old saying 'one step at a time'. It takes a bit of mental discipline not to jump to the next anxiety or conclusion but if you can soothe that mental spasm and simply remain open and spacious, you will tap into an amazing capacity that allows you to accomplish results that no one could have ever predicted, including yourself.

When we've spent years struggling, squeezing and pushing ourselves, it almost verges on heresy to suggest that lucid, carefree ease and flowing with circumstances is a viable alternative to get to your goals.

It seems too easy perhaps because we have a habit of making things hard. 

Linda Graham-McCann WorkVentures CEO

The Benefits of Hiring a Trainee

No matter what industry your business operates in, you could potentially access a great range of benefits simply by making the decision to hire a trainee:

Big image Call centre trainee

It is cost effective

Trainees receive a training wage and you save on administration costs – We manage all recruitment, advertising, payroll, tax, superannuation, worker’s compensation, training requirements, performance management and mentorship.  There is no recruitment fee to hire a trainee.  Whilst you supply ‘on the job’ training, each trainee is allocated their own support consultant who guides them throughout the entire traineeship, taking a lot of the strain off your time.

You have control over training

You determine what qualifications and training your trainee receives, ensuring that the specific needs of your business are met. The trainee’s course work can be customised to suit the requirements of their role in your business.  As an added benefit we support the trainee’s tailored learning and development pathway.

We can help you help the youth in your community

You and your business may value corporate social responsibility but you may be time poor. Engaging young people in traineeships is a way to ensure you have a real impact and make a valuable contribution.

A traineeship with your company will give young people an opportunity to develop the specific skills and knowledge that you are looking for.

You can increase staff retention

Trainees become loyal to the business that gives them a start.

Trainee contracts are initially for a specific time frame between 12 – 24 months which allows you to manage your employment costs within that specified period.  We have also found that over 75% of our trainees are taken on permanently and stay long term.

So, what does a WorkVentures trainee look like?

The right trainee is sourced for you using our bespoke selection processes.  Generally, our trainees have recently completed Year 11 or HSC. They have worked casually during their schooling in customer service or retail, whilst some have had exposure to working in an office environment which has contributed towards an acceptable level of IT knowledge – so they already have transferable skills that you can build upon. 

What roles do our trainees typically work in?

Our host employers include IT companies, accounting firms, law firms, financial services, schools, marketing firms and charities to name a few.

The roles in which we see trainees thrive include reception, office administration assistants, accounts assistants, marketing assistants, call centre help desks, IT customer support and software testers.

If you would like to get a trainee involved in your business, we would love to hear from you!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: (02) 8907 3300

Traineeships: A Mother's Perspective

We want to wish all Mum’s a very happy Mother’s Day this Sunday. It’s a great opportunity to show our appreciation for all that our Mum’s do for us that sets us up for life and helps to make us who we are. Through our trainees we’re privileged to meet some pretty amazing mum’s who care deeply about the path their children take in life, who want to see them fully utilise their skills in meaningful employment, not just a job. The IT industry is an ideal place for many kids who have specialised skills but don’t fit the high school to university mould. And they don’t need to. We’re proud to provide traineeships that allow kids like David and Sean to thrive.  And who better to tell us how that feels than two of those amazing mum’s:

David and his mum Jennifer2

From Jennifer: As David’s mother, I am extremely proud of his achievement and grateful for the training and support that WorkVentures has given him to be able to gain employment in the IT industry. David has always been interested in and able to effortlessly pick up new technologies. He is incredibly focussed and has an eye for detail so software testing is a fantastic match for his skills. I can’t wait to watch his career in this very exciting industry.

Sean27sG27DayUSA2From Fiona: An I.T. Traineeship is all my son, Sean, has wanted since Year 9. His choice of subjects at school, his part  time study at TAFE and volunteering last year were all aimed at that yet his Disability Employment Service told him to give up TAFE for a two  day per week labouring job which they admitted was on the basis  of his being 18 years old, without a back injury. In front of his  father, they told Sean it would be a long time before he’d get an  office job and  they tried to tell me  that  he would “never get a job  in I.T.”  Never suggest to the mother of a young person with a “disability” that there is anything their child cannot do!

Sean LOVES his position in the Call Centre at WorkVentures He gets home exhausted, many times with stories of stressful days and sometimes upset that he has made costly mistakes AND I could not possibly be any prouder of him.  I know that mistakes are the foundation of valuable learning.  I watch him catch the early train just to make sure he gets to work on time.  Every day my son leaves the house smiling, a young man walking tall and proud in his Connect I.T. polo shirt and nearly six months into his IT Traineeship, that still sometimes brings a tear to my eye.


A Good Start Leads to Career Choices

We can talk about the value of a traineeship providing kids with a pathway to a job and a better future, but nothing beats hearing about the reality of the journey directly from the Trainee in their own words.
Thanks Jack for sharing your experience and for taking the opportunity with both hands and running with it!
Hi Linda,
Just thought I would email you with some positive feedback about my experience as a Workventures trainee. I finished up mid January this year so I was a trainee for pretty much the whole year from Jan 2015. When I finished school, plans with the Army had been delayed and I didn't like school so uni was not an option. I consider myself very lucky that I found the advertisement on SEEK for the traineeship spot. It sounded too good to be true and it still felt that way even when I was doing interviews for the spot with Jenny...
I started off in the ConnectIT call center. I was very nervous on my first day as I listened to every one else take calls because I didn't know anybody and they all sounded very experienced with computers. Everyone sounded like they knew exactly what they were doing and I could not envision myself sounding like them at all... I had gone into the job with hardly any idea about computers. But Damien, Mitchell and Tom were very supportive and on the second day I was taking sales calls. Not long after that I was doing tech calls and learning on the spot. It was challenging but very rewarding. I made plenty of mistakes but you were expected to learn from them and I feel that I did. It did not take long for me to make friends with everyone in the call center.
After six months there, I then was moved to my host employer, an IT company in the city. I left the call center feeling confident with how much I knew but at this new job I was back at square one. There were many responsibilities and new roles to learn and it was a test for my communication skills. The other trainee there, Jye, was an excellent teacher and we are still mates today. Herc, our boss, was often busy with the business so Jye and I typically operated as a team until I reached the point were I could function competently by myself. This took time as it was a complex job but it was a positive experience. I enjoyed this job because I felt even more independent - it was not often that I started the day knowing exactly where I was going to be all day, due to the need to travel to clients from time to time. Herc was a very flexible boss and I was appreciative of this too. 
The online study for the Certificate III was also enjoyable at times. My favourite component was the web design unit. Walter was a good teacher and provided plenty of feedback. 
I am pleased to tell you that I have just started studying at UTS this year. My course is a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Diploma in Information Technology Professional Practice. I can confidently say that I did not have the HSC marks to make it into the course and that my year's work experience and Certificate III was what got me a spot. As with anything, not every day during the traineeship was perfect. Some days were long, some days were tough and some days I would have to take responsibility for mistakes I had made. Like most people, I'm not even 100% sure what I will end up doing in the future, but my time with WorkVentures was the best start I think I could have had. So I just wanted to say thank you for the opportunity. 

Changes in Learning

When it comes to training in our Kickstart program for youth and migrants, we have a secret sauce in our training called ‘lean learning’ that we stole from the software development industry. In essence when you take out all the ‘fat’ in learning and teach only what people need to know, it takes a lot less time. In essence, a university degree costs tens of thousands of dollars and partly they need to justify that by making the learning take a long time. We just completed a KickStart program for computer software testing that had the kids trained and into good jobs within 13 weeks. Of course, we have a whole bunch of computer industry folk help the kids and coach them on their developing skills but it still only took 3 months.
We need alternatives for learning IT skills - not just University degrees and 457 visas. Training kids in primary school to code is lovely but that’s more government dependence and 10 years away from solving Australia’s crying need for good IT staff.
Having an industry-led alternative education pathway gives our industry the best chance at guiding our future and getting the best minds NOW. Not 10 years from now.

Contact for media enquiries

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