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Empowering the Future and Unleashing Potential with ‘Try a Trade’ – A Program Dedicated to Support Young People

Dec 13, 2023

Last October, Programmed Facility Management partnered with the Police Community Youth Club (PCYC) Canberra to organise a “Try a Trade” program. The program involved seven young participants, all below the age of 25, including two females and a 14-year-old. The program took place at a customer’s site where we are contracted to service.

Two female candidates painting on site

The Try a Trade Program is all about supporting young people who would not normally have the opportunities to get experience to enhance their skills in construction and horticulture. Through Canberra PCYC’s Project 180 Program, participants receive essential training in White Card and Asbestos Awareness, which are valuable certifications for future employment.

Additionally, PCYC operates a Social Enterprise that offers hands-on experience in garden maintenance and the use of equipment such as ride-on mowers and whipper snippers. Participants also gain experience in various activities, including pressure cleaning, painting, and fencing.

These youth programs are vital for empowering and supporting young people to be job-ready. It provides opportunities for learning, skills development, networking, and personal growth. It also helps young people overcome barriers and challenges that they may face in the labour market. Further, youth programs can inspire young people to pursue their passions, goals and dreams and contribute positively to society.

Candidates attending instructions from a Site Supervisor

In addition to our key partner, PCYC Canberra, who always supports this program, the program was also supported by Asset Construction Hire who was generous in providing equipment for the program’s successful conduct on both days. Their contribution has made a huge difference in making this program possible for young people who otherwise would not have access to such opportunities. The wonderful staff at Asset Construction Hire Fyshwick have shown commitment to our community’s future and the well-being of our youth.

Essential equipment provided by the Asset Hire

The program concluded successfully, leaving everyone with satisfactory smiles. After two days of hard work on site, a small graduation ceremony was held to commemorate the candidates’ accomplishments. The candidates had a great learning experience, with plenty of interactions and visible outcomes!


“This is a wonderful example of local businesses working together to support their communities and give opportunities for people to grow and feel connected. It was an incredible experience to witness the young people learning new skills and working together”

Gregory Lackey, Programmed Social Inclusion Manager

Below are a few testimonials shared by Canberra PCYC participants and the facilitator on their experience throughout the program:

Zach (Participant):

“I really enjoyed working in the training and working outside. I really liked the way that I got to try other jobs and see what I liked. I really liked how I got to see how my work made a difference, that made me feel proud that I accomplished something.”

Bella (Participant):

“Was a fun two days, got to learn new things and a good opportunity to experience what it’s like working outdoors, and to just keep going and to not give up even when it’s hard.”

Miles (PCYC Facilitator):

“It was good to see the youth on our P180 Program really put in the work and give everything they tried 100% effort. The youth really enjoyed seeing the difference their work made. All participants commented that they were proud of themselves for accomplishing these tasks. I was proud of them because most have anxiety about trying something different. It was great to see them all, over the two days, work with each other and try new things.

Steve Harding (Programmed Supervisor):

“In my time with the Social Inclusion Program, I’ve learned about its structure and the importance of shaping young people’s futures. Our work plays a crucial role in helping them develop work/life skills, expanding their horizons for future planning. Forward-thinking and planning have been proven to enhance mental health and instill a sense of worth and anticipation in young people.”

Positive Outcomes

We are delighted to announce that the two training days of the Try a Trade program have yielded remarkable outcomes. All participants have either returned to school or secured employment, which is truly outstanding. This serves as yet another testament to our commitment to transforming lives and witnessing the continuous growth and improvement of our community, aligning with our Work and Smile vision.

Keep up the great work team!

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