Volunteers help disadvantaged youth get jobs, licences
WARWICK is on the road to greater employment with a life-changing program that encourages volunteers to teach young people how to drive.
Braking the Cycle is a PCYC program that helps learner drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 build up driving experience, pass their driver's test and score a full time job.
It is a transformative opportunity for young people who can't access a car, aren't able to find anyone to teach them or are simply unable to afford independent driving lessons.
Staff at Warwick BEST Employment suggested the program after seeing young jobseekers who didn't have the means to obtain their licence.
"Not having a licence is a huge barrier to employment," BEST Employment performance manager Nell Hetherington said.
"A lot of jobseekers do not have access to a reliable vehicle, let alone the support of a family member or friend to supervise their requirement of 100 hours."
"This program will mean more jobseekers are able to overcome this barrier which will lead to significant increase in employment opportunities for all jobseekers, no matter how supported they are at home."
The initiative is important in Warwick due to its central location in a large regional area that offers job opportunities to young people able to travel beyond the CBD.
In the many years since Tim Hoy began co-ordinating for Braking the Cycle in Toowoomba, he has seen hundreds of participants learn to confidently drive and go on to score a job.
"It's very rewarding for us who run it," he said.
"A lot more young ones are gainfully employed as a result and it's been really confidence building.
"It basically changes lives."
Volunteers make up the fleet of driving instructors, who use PCYC-supplied cars for the lessons. But for the program to get the green light in Warwick, the community must show its support at a consultation forum next Tuesday from 5.15pm.
"It's going to be a gauge for the need and the want for this to go ahead, so the more people that can get there the better" Mr Hoy said.
"If you want to feel a part of something that's going to deliver a genuine benefit to a person then you should consider volunteering."
The forum community consultation will be held at Warwick Town Hall. RSVPs are encouraged but not essential.
Email email@example.com or phone Jae Dromgold on 4667 0420.