Bringing needed employment support and training to rural QLD

Collinsville man Daniel Knowles faced several barriers when it came to employment. Living in a low socio-economic area, there was not a lot of job opportunities in the area for the 45-year-old qualified locksmith.

It was through a new outreach program, delivered by IntoJobs Bowen last July that helped Daniel discover a new career option as a traffic controller. After learning more about the industry, Daniel knew it was the area he wanted to work in , “When we did the course there was a lot of information which made it very daunting, but after a few days, everything clicked,” he said.

Through the program, participants engage in group training sessions where they learn all about traffic management, and build confidence over time. Participants then go on placement which leads to guaranteed employment in the area.

After completing the theory, Daniel allowed his peers to complete their placements first, feeling their needs were greater than his. Unfortunately Christmas and wet weather delayed him from completing his own placement until May this year.

Not discouraged, Daniel remained positive and eventually received his license in July. His friend, who was working with NSEW Traffic Solutions, encouraged Daniel to approach them which resulted in him getting a full-time role with the company.

Mobile Employment Consultant Maree McIlroy, said developed the Outreach Program after identifying that many participants in Collinsville faced significant barriers to employment, including lack of training opportunities, criminal convictions, substance abuse, domestic violence, transport issues and general isolation due to distances to major centers, “Our mobile service delivery model means we have the flexibility to provide support where and when it is needed.  Bringing a trainer to Collinvillle made it a whole lot easier for people to attend, and gave them a better opportunity to access sustainable employment opportunities” Maree said.  

Since the program finished, five participants have secured full-time employment in the traffic control industry with another two finding alternative employment.

Daniel said he was loving his new job and (and the extra money that came with it), “The program was a great opportunity which led to a well-paid job,” he said.

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