Connect Pilots Mentor Program

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As part of an initiative to address skills shortages in the Northern Rivers region, local organisation CONNECT, has successfully tendered for a new mentoring program to be piloted in 2009.

Mentoring programs have been proven to benefit not only the person being mentored but also the person mentoring. In a business scenario research has shown that mentoring programs improve teamwork, raise employee retention, increase productivity and are good for community relations and public image.

The CONNECT Mentors for Our Students pilot program aims to engage young people with recently retired and semi-retired tradespeople, professionals and paraprofessionals as mentors to encourage young people to seek out careers in areas experiencing skills shortages and to enhance industry knowledge.

By utilizing the knowledge and experience of older Australians to pass on their skills and knowledge to young Australians they hope to keep those skills alive in the region and provide future employment and careers for local youth.

Skills Targeted

  • Metal machinist
  • Toolmaker
  • Pressure welder/welder
  • Sheet metal worker
  • Motor mechanic
  • Auto electrician
  • Panel beater
  • Vehicle painter
  • Air conditioning mechanic

Professional & Paraprofessional Careers:

  • Computing professionals
  • Registered nurse
  • Registered midwife
  • Registered mental health nurse
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Medical diagnostic radiographer
  • Sonographer
  • Child care coordinator
  • Child care worker

The program is also targeted to improve school retention rates and transitions of young people into work and further education.
The program will target identified skills shortage careers in trades, professional and paraprofessional careers associated with maths, science and engineering subjects.

As well as the obvious benefits to the young people involved in the program, the mentors will benefit from providing a meaningful exchange of knowledge which can make the transition into retirement a much easier prospect.
The pilot program will run for twelve months. This will include a six month implementation phase to market the program, recruit and train mentors and match mentors with students in preparation for commencement of activities on 1 June 2009.
If you are interested in being involved with the program it will be running in the Casino and Ballina areas, for more information call: 6622 4199.

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