More than 500 young people from across Wagga Wagga and Riverina have found meaningful work through The Personnel Group's Transition to Work in the past 12 months.
That success is largely because of the dedicated one-on-one commitment from The Personnel Group's employment consultants who work with and guide young participants across a range of life skills, from getting a driver's licence to managing personal finances and mastering interviews.
Transition to Work helps young people aged 15-24 who are not working and need support and guidance to get them working or access to education.
"We were really nervous when COVID hit last year, we thought we weren't going to be able to place many young people into employment," The Personnel Group Transition to Work team leader Mel Norris said.
"It's been the complete opposite, we had a really successful period, actually our most successful time for employment placements in the region."
Transition to Work is a free program to connect employers with keen, work ready jobseekers who are eager to get working by providing practical training and work experience to skills, confidence and readiness to work.
The Personnel Group staff learn what each individual participant's interests are, find where weaknesses are and plug those gaps through education and advice and training to make sure potential job candidates are the right fit for positions they apply for.
"Our candidates know what's expected as an employee, it's certainly different from being in a school environment. We aim to not only get them into employment, we try to match them to jobs where they will sustain that employment long term," The Personnel Group area manager Tom Ness said.
"It's all about building them up, giving them the skills and confidence to get in and have a go."
It is not all one-way.
"It might mean some frank conversations and that comes down to the one-on-one coaching and mentoring to get them ready, and keen, to get out there have a go," Mr Ness said. "And there's certainly lots of opportunities here in the Riverina for engaged jobseekers."
The Personnel Group delivers the program across Griffith, Wagga, Albury-Wodonga, Wangaratta, Benalla and Yarrawonga.
The Personnel Group CEO Tracey Fraser said having a job boosted a person's self-esteem and community engagement.
"The organisation is truly committed to the success of vulnerable jobseekers, and sees employment as the primary conduit for improving quality of life," Tracey Fraser said. "Increasing the skill level and employability of our young people is integral to the success and prosperity of our regional and rural communities."