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Helping vulnerable young people achieve their dream careers

16 November 20210 comments

Disadvantaged young people from diverse communities across Melbourne will be supported into fulfilling and sustainable careers under an innovative new program being delivered by refugee and migrant settlement agency AMES Australia.

In partnership with the Centre for Multicultural Youth, the ‘Opening Minds, Building Futures’ program will provide information sessions, workshops and one-on-one counselling to Year 7 to 10 students from Pasifika and South Sudanese communities.

The program is part of the federal government’s National Careers Institute’s Partnership Grants initiative aimed at delivering innovative career guidance services.

Program director and AMES Australia’s Community Development Manager Maria Tsopanis said the new initiative would deliver face-to-face careers guidance sessions, hands-on industry and work experience, careers resource development as wells as career mentoring.

“The aim of the project is to engage, inform and empower young people to identify careers that they might not have though they could embark on. It will also work to build confidence in the parents and school influencers who are advising them,” Ms Tsopanis said.

“This all about supporting young people to explore the opportunities and career pathways open to them and allowing then to reach their full potential,” she said

“We want these young people to develop increased confidence and knowledge of their opportunities. They, in turn, will become role models and agents of change in areas and in communities suffering socio-economic disadvantage.

“We are combining the expertise and skill sets of multicultural youth workers and career counsellors to support young people through a strength-based, co-designed and culturally sensitive approach,” Ms Tsopanis said.

The program will operate in the local government areas of Melton, Brimbank, Casey and Dandenong.

One young person who has already benefitted from support in finding a career pathway is Indian migrant Manisha Kulai.

Manisha recently got a job as an application analyst with a technology firm after participating in AMES Australia’s Three Steps Program.

“Joining the program gave me confidence, improved my English and gave me connections with people in Australia,” said 20-year-old Manisha, who has been in Australia just two years,’ she said.

“I also learned about how to find a job in Australia and about the resume and interview process.

“The support I received has made me more confident in speaking to different people in different situations. It was really helpful,” Manisha said.