Jobless learn trade skills through dole program
GLADSTONE resident Leighton Tewhaiti had never picked up a saw before he started the Work for the Dole program.
Mr Tewhaiti is trying to find a job in a trade, or as a chef, but because he has been unemployed for more than 52 weeks he is required to complete the program.
So now he makes pot plant holders and other furniture that will be sold in an auction.
The money will go to a non-profit organisation.
"I took one (pot plant holder) home. I've still got to get a plant for it," Mr Tewhaiti said.
"We've got a really good team because we all help and look out for each other."
Supervisor Chris Linnane said most of his students had never worked with tools before.
"They can make whatever they like, and take it home, but then they have to make a second one for me that's even better," Mr Linnane said.
Mr Linnane, a job seeker himself, has 40 years experience as a workshop supervisor.
"It's about getting them ready for the work environment," he explained.
"We have safety meetings, time-keeping and they have to operate machinery properly with PPE."
This Gladstone program operates for job seekers through Neato Employment Services.