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Rotary Melbourne Supporting WomenCan Australia

The Rotary Club of Melbourne, Vic, is very involved with education and mentoring programs. One unique project is supporting WomenCan Australia (WCA), founded by Rotarian Mikaela Stafrace.

WCA is a charity dedicated to assisting women become work ready through education. Their program, The Placement Circle (TPC), supports vulnerable or isolated women to build their confidence to re-skill and re-connect with the work force so they can gain financial independence.

WCA recognises that women who become disconnected from the workforce are at real risk of poverty, homelessness, and despair, as are their dependents. By working together in a structured, peer- supported community of women with a shared lived experience, the possibility of re-educating, finding sustainable employment and rebuilding confidence becomes more likely.

The program is a tripartite model connecting communities of peer- supported women with their local TAFE and place-based employers, and matching training to sectors with high labour demand such as aged care, trades, cybersecurity, commercial cookery and transport.

They currently have women enrolled to undertake a Certificate III in Individual Support (aged care) in Bendigo and Dandenong and are about to launch a Certificate II pre- apprenticeship that will help women gain training in the trades sector, where there is a huge skills shortage, high job demand and an under- representation of women. Through The Placement Circle, they will recruit 15 women and support them through a Certificate II (pre- apprenticeship) at Victorian University Polytechnic. Participants will undertake a 10-12- week Certificate II of either plumbing, electrical or carpentry in preparation for commencing an apprenticeship.

The WCA project will provide them with peer support during their training and on completion connect them to Tier 1,2 and 3 building companies to gain interviews for an apprenticeship. 


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