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Rebuilding futures at YMCA

11 Feb 2014

Rebuilding futures at YMCA Image

YMCA Victoria Point had a makeover last month, with the team from Rebuild giving the gym a fresh coat of paint.

Rebuild is a facilities management company, which provides work experience and training for young people, primarily ex-offenders, who are experiencing barriers to employment.

Working with experienced tradespeople, participants gain formal and on-the-job training and develop life skills needed to make the transition into the workforce.

For Nathan Bugeja, the Rebuild program has provided the skills and experience needed to plan for his future.

The 22-year-old was getting into trouble with police before a YMCA social worker helped him secure a job at the Melbourne Zoo.

After completing six months at the zoo he moved on to the Rebuild program and has obtained his traffic controller licence, has learnt about painting and general maintenance and has developed landscaping skills.

“I’ve had steady work so it’s been a lot less stressful that way,” Mr Bugeja said.

He says the program has helped him to get back on track and now hopes to one day run his own landscaping business.

Rebuild manager Gary Sinclair said program participants were recommend from a number of different sources including the Department of Corrections, Department of Human Services, job service agencies like WISE Employment and St Vincent de Paul.

“They recommend people who demonstrate a willingness to change,” Mr Sinclair said.

“They might be attending interviews and have done a substantial amount of training, but just need some help getting a foot in the door.”

According to Mr Sinclair, Rebuild actively bids for work internally, through the YMCA and externally, in order to generate opportunities for participants to gain commercial experience.

“Within the Y one of our bigger supporters has been Andrew Ward and YMCA Docklands,” Mr Sinclair said.

YMCA Docklands engaged Rebuild to paint the Victoria Point site, which this year marks 10 years since opening its doors.

YMCA Docklands manager Andrew Ward encouraged other local businesses to consider Rebuild as an option when needing work done.

“Rebuild provides excellent and comparable services to regular contractors and tradesmen,” Mr Ward said.

“The difference is, that in the process, the YMCA helps create an opportunity for a young person who at some point in their life has suffered a disadvantage. Rebuild facilitates their journey back to being a positive contributor to the community at large.”

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