Over the past three years MWLP has worked at refining a work placement delivery model to overcome the challenges faced in providing quality work placement for Business Services students.
The model is based on three elements:
- The WPSP taking on the role of HOST EMPLOYER
- The establishment of a SOCIAL ENTREPRISE supported by the WPSP to intentionally tackle social problems or improve communities,
- The identification and engagement of a beneficiary that will benefit from the enterprise.
The purpose of the YOUTH’ANK HUB is to provide a way for local Business Services students to complete their mandatory 35 hours of work placement. This project has the added benefits of serving the local community through existing charity organisations as well as giving students community service experience.
The duration of the project varies in relation to the number of Business Services students requiring placement. By way of example the past and current projects:
- COLLECT A Nappy (2019) – 5 weeks (36 Placements)
- COLLECT A Nappy (2020) – 4 weeks (30 Placements)
- Gift a Farming Family (2019) – 4 weeks (23 Placements)
- Operation FOOD DRIVE (2021) – 7 weeks (73 Placements)
- BREAKFAST READY! (2021) x 2 – 5 weeks (83 booked Placements
The programs have typically run from 5-8 weeks (dependent on need) with 8-12 students attending per week. Partner charity organisations to date have been Salvation Army and St Vinnies.
Discussions with the individual charities helps identify the local need – examples include nappy drives, help for farmers, food drives, breakfast drives and snack-pack collections.
Other ideas for future programs include:
- winter woollies (socks, scarfs, beanies),
- school supplies (pens, pencil cases, notebooks etc),
- pet food drives (people in need often have pets as companions but struggle to feed them).
Once the concept is identified with the partner charity the program is formulated around that need. A social enterprise is set up by the students who carry out all necessary activities to fundraise towards a set target under the guidance of a supervising coordinator (appointed by MWLP).
Aside from the main campaign there are a number of activities that take place each week. These include:
- Formal induction on Mondays – Policies and Procedures, what to wear, arriving and leaving, expectations etc
- Team building activities on Monday – 2 truths 1 lie, save Kayli’s cat, office scavenger hunt, etc.
- Individual marketing – discuss how to use personal contacts to engage in the program. Students make flyers, posters, emails, texts etc as needed to collect donations from personal contacts such as schools, friends, family, neighbours, part time jobs, sports teams etc.
- Shopping – any money collected from individual marketing is used to purchase whatever is being collected. The students take the money and go “shopping” on Friday
- Pizza Lunch – each Friday pizza is shared with the team for students to experience a company lunch
- Other training activities are conducted as needed depending on the skills of the students.
There are a number of skills and training sessions that we run each week with students which include (but are not limited to):
- A3 printing
- Hole punch
- How to market
- Stapler and removal
- Taking minutes
- Making/Answering calls