Some young people need an extra hand to get their start in the workforce. The Kick Start program breaks down some of the barriers. Bishop Vincent had a chance to congratulate recent graduates.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, was special guest at an inspiring graduation ceremony in October. The Kick Start program is an innovative program for unemployed young people who need to build their confidence and work skills in order to start or get back into the workforce. They are young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who needed an extra hand to get through their studies and training, and ultimately find a job.
Its success is seen in the statistics – motivation, mental health and participation in school or employment all increase significantly for participants in the program.
The social enterprise is hospitality-based. The young people gain their training through mobile cafes around Western Sydney, at the same time gaining certified qualifications in hospitality. Throughout the six-month program, they receive career mentoring by a trainee coordinator. The barriers to employment they have faced are addressed and they develop their own personal and professional goals to work towards. It is backed by a number of partners including the PAYCE Foundation.
Bishop Vincent congratulated the graduates who had, by the completion of the program, found work or who had clear goals on what they wanted to do.
“I congratulate the five graduates who have completed the Certificate in Hospitality. You are well-placed to have a great future,’’ he said.
“And congratulations to the PAYCE Foundation for supporting this great social enterprise that equips young people who might face additional challenges because of their circumstances.”
He noted how the PAYCE Foundation is often in alignment with the Catholic Church in Western Sydney. “They are no stranger to the Diocese of Parramatta,” Bishop Vincent said, as he outlined how last year the Foundation supported the Street Feast in Parramatta for the World Day of the Poor, an event which celebrated the “common humanity that binds us all together and makes a compassionate, humane society.”
This article was originally featured in the Summer 2020/2021 Edition of the Catholic Outlook Magazine.