SPARK – committed to the community

For Ginninderry’s SPARK program giving back to the local community is something we’re not just passionate about, but is the driving force behind our SPARK initiative. Our commitment to creating learning and development opportunities while improving the local economy is integral to being able to meet achieve our mission.

The pillars of this success rely on three key elements: creating economic benefits through work experience or jobs, identifying and working with local stakeholders to implement appropriate training requirements to up-skill local community members, and partnering with community stakeholders to create live training sites. In this sense, the project aims to deliver more than bricks and mortar, but a social footprint.

When it comes to celebrating achievements thus far, 2016 rates a mention for not only being the year of SPARK’s inception, but one that successfully delivered five programs, numerous work experience placements and jobs. Amongst these were:

Kippax Connections: A joint venture between the Ginninderry project team/SPARK and Uniting Care Kippax and funded through the ACT Government’s Adult Community Education Grants. The program served to link the wider Belconnen area to vocational education, training and employment opportunities, providing one-on-one tutoring, mentoring, tailored learning solutions and financial advice.

Youth Employment Hub: Ginninderry project team/SPARK partnership with Belconnen Community Service to deliver    a program targeted to 18-24 year olds living and working within the west Belconnen region. The program, funded by the ACT Government’s Adult Community Education grant, was designed to provide youth with fundamental job-seeking skills, financial advice, tailored tutoring and outlets to explore and encourage new social connections.

Belconnen Community Service Childcare Program: Designed in partnership with CIT and BCS to train and educate those wishing to pursue career within the Early Childhood Education and Care sector.  This program was also used as a recruitment strategy by BCS to source local people for employment within their childcare centres.

Strathnairn Arts and West Belconnen Construction Programs: Specialised accredited training in general construction. Participants were exposed to a variety of teaching techniques including theory-based, hands on learning on community infrastructure projects and unpaid work experience.

In terms of what SPARK will offer in 2017, the prospects are equally bright following our successful bid to partner with Uniting Care Kippax and Belconnen Community Service, to again deliver the Kippax Connections and the Youth Employment Hub programs.

We’re also pleased to announce the new West Belconnen Administration Program commencing 21 March 2017. The program will provide a Certificate II in Business to interested parties as well as access to an exciting range of potential job opportunities in the business administration sector. In addition we’ll also be looking to kick-off another combined theory, prac-based and live training site construction program, this time in Yass on 14 March 2017.

Needless to say it’s going to be another busy, yet productive year for SPARK and our partners, working together to increase that footprint!

– Emma Sckrabei, SPARK Training and Employment Manager

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