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RichmondPRA’s PreEmploy Institute joins forces with Community Businesses

by Clare Evans

RichmondPRA’s PreEmploy Institute has joined forces with their community businesses – Enterpraise and Prestige Packing – forming a comprehensive training and employment program for people who are on the disability support pension due to mental health issues.

Prior to 2015, the PreEmploy Institute and the Community Businesses operated independently of each other. The Community Businesses provided a transitional employment program for people who wanted to increase their confidence, gain work experience and on-the-job training before entering the open workforce. The PreEmploy Institute offered a structured six-month employment preparation course that included vocational and life-skills training. Many people have already benefited from engaging in one of these programs, and a fair number of people have actually participated in both the PreEmploy Institute and the employment program at the Community Businesses.

Streamlining the PreEmploy Institute with the community businesses will provide employees with a comprehensive preparation for the open workforce or tertiary education, as workplace experience will now be complemented with a range of practical, vocational and life skills training.

So how will it work? Essentially, employees will begin with the induction training – four days – and then begin working two to three days a week in their chosen community business and attend the PreEmploy program – one day per week for three months.

When employees complete the three month PreEmploy program, they may choose to continue working at the community businesses while seeking vocational guidance from the on-site vocational support workers for assistance to enter the open workforce and/or tertiary education. All employees in RichmondPRA’s community businesses will receive ongoing on-the-job training. There is also access to one-on-one guidance and employment planning from mental health workers and peer support workers.

It is anticipated that the merging of PreEmploy and the community businesses will result in a versatile transitional employment experience with more options for participants to tailor the experience to their personal mental health recovery needs.

RichmondPRA’s Community Businesses that offer supported employment and the PreEmploy program include:
Prestige Packing Company: Locations in Marrickville, Harris Park and West Ryde with jobs available in packing and light assembly.

Enterpraise: Locations in Marrickville, Warwick Farm, St Marys and Penrith with jobs available in gardening and landscaping or cleaning maintenance.

If you’d like to find out more phone:

(02) 9393 9035

Or email Clare at:

clare.evans@richmondpra.org.au

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