Sustainable success

Barefoot Transitional Training director Scott Douglas and Roy Whatmough show some of the products created by program participants. photograph heidi kraak

Barefoot Transitional Training director Scott Douglas and Roy Whatmough show some of the products created by program participants. photograph heidi kraak

With a unique approach to helping people find employment, Barefoot Pathways Transitional Training is using sustainability to help participants get a foot in the door for jobs.

The centre operates a number of social enterprises in which program participants are given specific job descriptions, which they can then put on their resumes when applying for jobs.

Barefoot Pathways Tran­sit­ional Training manager Scott Douglas said the centre operated a range of social enterprises, including a Pallet Club, where participants constructed various objects and furniture out of old wooden pallets.

He said the centre also operated a composting system, where participants collect coffee grounds and green waste from local cafes to create their own compost and grow vegetables and herbs, and a book collection program, where secondhand books are collected and delivered to correction facilities and prisons.

"We've sold four [tables] in the last three months. They are 100 per cent made from recyclable materials," he said.

"The steel frame is from Tobruk St Primary, the one that shut down ... and the nails and screws are all from the original pallet.

"We are really trying to push that 'buy local, support local' and see where that money goes, so that it goes back into the enterprise and then helps us buy more tools to make fancier items."

The program is hoping to expand its compost program to get to the point where the vegetables and herbs participants grow can be sold. Mr Douglas said the program aimed to build participants 21st-century skills.

"We focus on digital capabilities, digital competency, professionalism and professional ethics and integrity," he said.

"And the standard skills, like punctuality, being able to work in a team, multitasking comfortably and skill acquisition.

"So if someone is working on a social media campaign for an enterprise, we might need to teach them how to source and image, how to write a caption and how to create hashtags so we can put that post of social media."

The program has other enterprises in the works and hopes to be able to engage the community to support participants.

"People can come and get involved, volunteers can come in and be part of the enterprises as mentors or with knowledge," Mr Douglas said.

For more information or to get involved, visitbarefootpathwaysttc.org.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop