Teens working towards career dreams

Liam Ziebarth and Shanice Hook have faced some adversity during their teenage years.

Introverted and bullied at school, Liam dropped out of Year 11 after being unable to fit into a “rigid education system”.

Shanice, who overcame childhood cancer, left halfway through Year 12 because she “couldn’t handle the workload with all the other things that were going on with my life”.

After quitting school and with few career options in their tiny townships of Kalbar and Aratula, Liam and Shanice enrolled in the Get Set for Work program at Carinity Fassifern Community Centre in Boonah.

The Queensland Government-funded initiative helps people aged 15 to 19 years who have left school to transition into work or undertake further education or training.

Liam and Shanice, both 19, are now in a tertiary preparation program ahead of commencing an Education Degree at University of Queensland Springfield next year. Liam aims to teach history to high school students, while Shanice wants to become a primary education teacher.

“I owe a great deal to Get Set for Work for me actually following the idea of going back into some form of education as I’d very much given up on it after I dropped out of school,” Liam says.

“I wasn’t thinking about what I was going to do in the future. I don’t have any doubts that without the course I would still be living in Kalbar working six hours a week at my old job and doing not much else.”

Before Get Set for Work, Shanice was lacking direction and was unable to connect with other people.

“The course helped but it was definitely the social part of it that helped me the most. I’m not a very social person, I’m very nervous and shy so it really helped me to connect with and talk to people,” Shanice says.

“I always knew that I wanted to go into teaching, but I didn’t know if there were any options. Carinity showed me there are options out there and you can do something.”

Carinity helped Kayden Rieck secure his dream job, with the teenager now working as an apprentice diesel mechanic.

“I was looking for jobs through school and then I went to the Get Set for Work course. The course helped me budget and develop more skills in talking to people,” Kayden says.

Carinity Community Development Coordinator Samantha Caves says programs run at Carinity Fassifern Community Centre help young people to “lay the foundations to win the job of their choice”.

“We offer participants aged 15 to 19 years a Certificate II in Work Skills and Vocational Pathways, transitioning them into future study or employment,” Samantha says.

For more on the work skills and education programs run by Carinity phone 07 3550 3737 or visit carinity.org.au/communities.

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