There are many young people in the Hunter who are ready and keen to work – that’s the message that Mai-Wel Labour Force Solutions clients and staff gave a packed Maitland Business Chamber meeting last week.
Mai-Wel CEO Pennie Kearney kicked off the quirky presentation on Thursday morning when she stood in the middle of the meeting and answered her phone while chamber president Craig McGregor was giving his welcome address.
She then urged Mr McGregor to put the television news on the projector screen. When he obliged, a mock news report began that detailed a demonstration outside the Mai-Wel office in High Street, with “a mob” of young people waving placards calling for local businesses to hire them.
At the end of the video, eight of the young people marched into the chamber meeting with their signs, emblazoned with their names, phone numbers and industries of preference.
The presentation was well received by the chamber meeting.
Mai-Wel Transition to Work manager Matt Newcombe said the cohort of job seekers was “fantastic” and the staff was “unbelievably committed”.
“The job seekers we have here are part of a [Certificate Three] in business,” he said.
“When we get groups together like this we realise how fantastic they are and we wish other people can see them like that as well.
“They’re not a statistic, they are not lay-abouts – they are fantastic young people who really deserve a go and this was our way of bringing that to you.
“Their commitment to the course has been fantastic. This is our future workforce, these are our future parents, future taxpayers, future customers of yours, future leaders of the community and we understand that we need to put the effort into them.
“We have some great support already in this room and we ask for more.”
The Mai-Wel Transition to Work program helps young people between the ages of 15 and 21 in the Maitland, Kurri Kurri and Cessnock areas develop skills, explore training options and find work after they have left school.
The program also helps young people identify their strengths and employment goals.