JOBS DRIVER: Salvation Army Employment Plus program manager Cameron Williams and Member for Blair Shayne Neumann discuss the new mentor program.
JOBS DRIVER: Salvation Army Employment Plus program manager Cameron Williams and Member for Blair Shayne Neumann discuss the new mentor program. Rob Williams

Jobless on road to employment

A NEW program, which teaches disadvantaged youths to drive, is helping put Ipswich jobseekers on the road to employment.

Initiated by The Salvation Army Employment Plus the Driver Mentor Program has mentors that help candidates work towards achieving their 100 hours logbook requirement.

Program manager Cameron Williams said 12 learners had already been registered and encouraged others interested to sign up.

"A lot of learner drivers have parents to help teach them how to drive and a car at home to practise in," he said.

"But there are those who are highly disadvantaged and don't have those kinds of things available to them.

"The importance for them to obtain their licence is paramount for us to be able to place them in a job in town."

Mr Williams said the program offered disadvantaged young people an opportunity to find work and hoped to have at least 20 people on the program's rotating roster.

He said the program was offered to those aged 17 to 25 years who fit the criteria.

The initiative is run in collaboration with Bremer Ford, the Ashley Institute, Sign-a-Rama and the Ipswich City Council.

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said the program was also partly funded through the Employment Pathways fund.

Mr Neumann said the fund was rolled out through the former Labor government and was established to overcome barriers to employment.

He said the fund had benefited indigenous youth, former prison inmates, residents from remote areas, refugees and others who needed help to be brought back into the employment stream.

"Funding is provided to organisations that want to get kids back into employment," he said.

"And one of the biggest barriers for people getting employment is good access to transport."

Mr Neumann congratulated TSAEP and the supporting partnerships involved. For details phone TSAEP on 3813 3400.



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