Education leads to employment

Article image - Education leads to employment Jessie Butterworth was the first E2E graduate and has since secured a permanent role as an Administration Officer.

Lake Macquarie City Council’s Education to Employment (E2E) program is an innovative solution to addressing an ageing workforce, skills shortage, youth employment, and the economic growth of the city. 

Council’s Manager Organisational Performance, Laura Kendall, said previously Council hosted a small number of trainees and apprentices in various departments through group training firms.

“The E2E program seeks to recruit and employ at least 10 percent of Council’s workforce as apprentices, trainees or cadets. This equates to about 110 participants.

“We are well on our way to achieving this by converting appropriate positions that become vacant, into an E2E role. Our policy is that an E2E participant is to be considered every time we have a vacant job.

“This policy is beneficial because it helps us progress towards our 10 percent target. Importantly, it ensures the program is sustainable over the long term, because funding doesn’t need to be sought for each new apprentice.”

Kendall explained that the E2E program addresses strategic challenges identified in the Workforce Planning Strategy, including an ageing workforce, skill shortages, and developing leadership capacity in the organisation.

“Supervisors of E2E participants also receive training in mentoring, as part of the program. This ensures supervisors feel capable in helping to maximise the outcomes for all E2E stakeholders.

“Sometimes we find it difficult to attract qualified and skilled workers with local government experience.

“Instead of investing heavily in targeting markets outside of the area, we are creating a pool of qualified, skilled and experienced local government workers by employing and training apprentices in a broad range of professions and trades.

“A large proportion of the people recruited into the E2E positions are Millennials.

“The program, while meeting individual participant and Council objectives, is a cornerstone of our commitment to encouraging the growth of jobs for young people in our local economy.

“We want to set an example in the region, so that our young people can continue to live and work in Lake Macquarie and continue to contribute to the growth and wellbeing of our city.”