Jake completed our 2021 SPARK Yass Construction Program delivered in partnership with TAFE NSW and Yass Valley Anglican Church. This 15-week program commenced on the 9th of August 2021 and provided students with a Certificate II in Construction Pathways and a Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways. Participants of the program also received their White Cards, full PPE and gained hands on experience through the infrastructure project for the Yass Valley Anglican Church that included concreting, paving, excavation, timber work and brick and block laying.
SPARK is committed to improving the education, social and economic outcomes for not only the ACT but the surrounding regional areas. Jake is a local Yass resident who left school at 15 years old and was completing his Year 10 through TAFE NSW when he first heard of SPARK. “School wasn’t really for me, but since leaving, I didn’t have much direction or idea of what I wanted to do. The support staff at TAFE showed me the flyer for SPARK and I thought it might help me find a job, so I gave it a go.
When asked how the SPARK program impacted him, Jake replied “The SPARK program made me a lot more confident. The practical work we did at the church taught me the basic skills I need for a worksite, and I now build on these skills in my new job. Working with so many different people helped me learn how to work in a team, and the skills and knowledge from the theory units are useful and relevant to work. SPARK even worked with me so I could continue my year 10 with TAFE and do the program, they treated me like an adult.”
Our SPARK programs are designed to support participants from engagement through training and employment opportunities. We do this by providing a SPARK Relationship Manager who journeys alongside the participants, supporting them to establish their direction and tackle any challenges. “Rachel was a huge support on the program, especially when we went into COVID lockdown she called us every week to make sure we were all doing ok. She was also a reference for me when I applied for my job, I didn’t have anyone else to put, so this was a huge help for me”
Since completing the program Jake has been working as a Civil Apprentice for Transport NSW. “It’s an awesome job. We do a lot of maintenance work on the roads, highways, and signs. I get to travel to Sydney to do my study and I work with a great team.”
“SPARK was amazing for me, it pulled me out of the hole I was in when I left school, it motivated me, got me some qualifications, and taught me a lot for life. I would definitely recommend SPARK to others.”