A new work for the dole program based in Launceston has hit a hole in one.
Through Envision Employment Services, about 15 local jobseekers are developing their vocational skills by building a portable mini golf course.
When completed, the project will be donated to Scouts Tasmania along with a custom-made trailer.
Envision Employment Services site supervisor Martin Collins said the program was aimed at assisting people transitioning into the workforce, including disadvantaged job seekers and people living with a disability.
“We recognised a need for greater vocational training for unemployed people in the Launceston community,” he said.
“Our aim is to provide real, hands on skills that will assist potential employees down the track.
“We are working with a range of employment service providers, but in particular the Salvation Army Employment Plus.
“Unemployment can be incredibly isolating for people and this is something that really brings people together, under one roof, with a common purpose.
“It ticks all of the boxes.
“We are seeing people make real connections here, learn about working in a team and develop their confidence.”
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With eight sites in Melbourne, Envision Employment Services established its first Tasmanian workshop at Invermay in May.
A not for profit community based organisation, Mr Collins said in the early days the site was averaging about two jobseekers a day.
Now, five days a week an enthusiastic team of about 30 can be found throughout the workshop working on a range of skills, with a particular focus on carpentry.
Launceston’s Codilee Spence was one of the first participants to become involved in the program and said she had already learned things she never thought possible.
“When I first came here, I really didn’t know what to expect,” she said.
“Since then I have done a bit of everything.
“I have always been more of a creative person, more than hands on, so I have a lot of unfinished projects I am working on – things like a birdhouse and a picture frame I am going to give to a friend for her birthday.
“I have also made some great friends and I think it is giving me more confidence about future employment opportunities.”
Mr Collins said learning to work as part of a team was one of the biggest benefits of the program.
“Not only are people developing real skills, there is also this incredible social element,” he said.
“They are also becoming invested in the community through what they makes here.
“When its all completed and we hand it over, it is something that can look back on and think – I helped build that.”
Mr Collins said the portable mini golf course was expected to be completed in November.
The group’s next project will involve refurbishing a caravan, which also be donated back into the community.