Life guards open doors

Article image - Life guards open doors Guarding Morelandís young workforce through new skills and employment opportunities.

A Pool Life Guard program delivered by Moreland City Council and Life Saving Victoria has provided successful pathways to employment for young locals, aged 17 to 24, with high employment outcomes over the last four years.

The jointly funded program qualifies participants in First Aid Level 2 and Pool Life Guard (PLG) accreditation at no cost. All sessions are fully supervised by Moreland Youth Services staff and delivered by qualified facilitators.

Approximately 60 percent of participants in the most recent cohort have secured employment as a PLG with the YMCA at leisure centres, while others are currently in recruitment processes.

Mayor, Lambros Tapinos, said Council was committed to breaking down barriers to employment for young people through targeted programs.

“It’s great to see young people eager to establish themselves in our local workforce.

“Through the PLG program, they’re learning fundamental skills, like first aid, communication skills, water safety and learning to manage a fun and safe environment for the community

“The program also contributes to achieving our vision for an Active Moreland, for more opportunities for more people to be more active, more often.”

Sixty-two participants have graduated the PLG program, with 60 percent securing employment within 4-5 months of completion.

Sarah Anne Rendina, 20, of Brunswick West, was selected as a candidate for the latest PLG program and is now a qualified Pool Life

Guard working at YMCA pools in Kensington, Oak Park and Carlton.

Prior to taking the program, Sarah was rotating short-term, casual jobs and having difficulty in finding relevant, secure work that would align with her career goals.

“I’m studying to be a personal trainer and I thought it would be a good gateway to be an instructor with YMCA. Since I got a position as a Pool Life Guard, it’s been the best job I’ve ever had.

“When I started working with YMCA, they also suggested doing swim teacher training, opening up more doors and flexibility around career pathways I can take. It’s had a really good impact on me.”

Participants are supported in resume writing and interview skills training to support ongoing development and outcomes.