Meet Emily and Calita, changing lives in Devonport and Burnie

The Fit for Work program delivered by Youth, Family and Community Connections aims to increase the work readiness of long-term unemployed young people (16-25 years) through holistic support, designed to address complex and/or multiple barriers in their lives so that they can focus on pathways to education, training or employment. With over 80 participants across the two sites, Youth Coaches – Emily (Devonport) and Calita (Burnie) are seeing the real impact the program is having on young people in the North West.

Emily has been working on the Fit for Work program for about 12 months. Previously working with adult jobseekers,  Emily is really enjoying the challenge of working with youth and the different dynamic that this presents.

“I love working with young people, it’s very refreshing and being a different generation to me I find it really interesting. The way in which they perceive what it is to work these days and the challenges they face are very different to 10-15 years ago,” Emily said.

Emily recently supported a jobseeker to access government benefits and find work, and is now assisting with accessing finance to purchase a motorbike and get a licence. “For me, looking back, the type of support that I’ve given this person is the type that I got from my parents. It’s really rewarding to know that this person is still in meaningful employment and working towards a certificate that he will be able to take with him anywhere he goes.”

Calita has previous case management roles with young people and is seeing more and more young people being referred into the program, facing financial difficulties.

“It’s really confronting for a young person to navigate government systems and with everything being online, if someone has left school early or they don’t have support at home it can be really difficult,” Calita said.

“I think the fact that we can actually spend more time with a young person and sit down with them and look at their whole life, not just what we have to do to get them a job, is what makes this program a success. If someone is not working, often there is a reason for that. They might need access to transport, or help with accommodation, or additional support with mental health issues. We know there are lots of jobs out there, but that does not mean that it’s easy for everyone”.

For more information on the Fit for Work program visit: