Participants are on track to develop new skills through their involved in the Work for the Dole program at the Sheffield Steam and Heritage Centre.
Two-years-ago theWork for the Dole program was developed with the Redwater Creek Steam and Heritage SocietyInc, president of the society Chris Martin said they were keen to operate the program.
“It has been wonderful to see our organisation engage with the community and provide opportunities for long term unemployed to get some work experience and engage with the heritage activities we have here on site,” he said.
TheSheffield Steam and Heritage Centre has held 21 SteamFests throughout the years, Mr Martin said the partnership with My Pathway who established this Work for the Dole program has assisted the preparation and attractions for the annual event.
”We had undertaken many significant developments on site however there was, and still is a huge amount of work to complete,” he said.
“We were struggling to find volunteers who could give up the many hours needed to drive our projects forward. Our group could see that a Work for the Dole team based on site could start to keep on top of the many projects needed to progress development of the site.”
Throughout the two years the participants have assisted in a variety of projects, Mr Martin said they have established many things which will feature at SteamFest.
“They have built a miniature railway which is the current project, 400 metres of track that we are building around part of our ground which will be here to entertain people at our SteamFest.”
“We are about to negotiate for our fifth Work for the Dole program, we have 15 participants for each of those rounds and we are employing a supervisor for three days a week to look after the team, they are getting a lot of work done that we would not have able to have done previously.”
Treasurer of the Redwater CreekCreek Steam and Heritage SocietyInc and a supervisor for the Work for the Dole program Graham Shoesmith said he has workedon steam engines and small trains for many years and enjoys passing on his knowledge to others.
“The majority of people who have participated in the program have been very good, some of them have gone off to be employed, and some have come back.”
“We have had a couple now who have come back to volunteer, and also we have someone coming back to learn to fire the two foot gauge locomotive and learn how to drive it,” he said.
The Work for the Dole program is a fully funded initiative by the Australian Government.
CHOO CHOO: My Pathways’ Ashlea Fenton, Work for the Dole participant Rebecca Mason, Supervisors Chris Cannell and Graham Shoesmith with Chairman Chris Martin on a small steam train. Picture: Elanor Watt.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.