The Y's first Jump Start program sparked enthusiasm and new ideas for the future in the 10 young people who completed the pilot hands-on short automotive program this week.
Following two weeks of online sessions to prepare participants with the basics such as the workshop layout, introduction to tools and occupational health and safety, the face to face program commenced late October.
Simon Thyer, Y Community Development Coordinator alongside local mechanic, Brendan Hewitt, supported young people to increase their confidence, skills, and knowledge in the automotive area. Current participants have been connected with the program through the Y Youth Hubs, a variety of local community organisations and other outreach programs.
“Jump Start gives young people in the wider Ballarat area the opportunity to use their passion in a positive way with a view towards building a career pathway. Some of the participants are not currently engaged in school, so Jump Start provides another educational opportunity,” Simon explained. “We’re really excited to be launching this program which is unique in Ballarat, in its structure, delivery and focus.”
The Y’s belief ‘in the power of inspired young people’ was evident during Jump Start sessions, with participants keen to take part. The program had an emphasis on providing opportunities for involvement, skill development and empowerment.
Robert, a young person in the program, appreciated the workshop facilities to learn new skills, "The tools were great, as we don't have access to these at home. This could be the starting point for my future employment."
Theresa, aged 16, who really enjoyed the sessions said, "I like automotive stuff and Jump Start was recommended to me, which was a good idea. Brendan the mechanic has been awesome and I would highly recommend it (Jump Start) to my young friends."
The idea for Jump Start was born after consistent interest in the automotive area by a number of young people in other local programs focused on engagement in positive social recreation activities and opportunities.
The pilot face-to-face program ran for four weeks, with ten participants aged 14-18 years as part of the first intake. Following the pilot, work will commence to explore Jump Start continuing into the future.
Jump Start has been made possible through generous grant funding from the Ballarat Foundation and partnerships with BGT and the Ballarat Youth Crime Prevention Program. BGT in Barkly Square made their automotive workshop available for the program.