Mentoring an EPIC success

Celebrating the completion of the Youth EPIC mentoring scheme recently were (front l-r) Sally Surtees (student), Rebekah Hill-McNeill (student), Regan Harding (Youth EPIC coordinator) and Simon Glasby (student) with (rear l-r) Jet from Flourish Designer Studio (mentor), Sharyn and Nancye Glasby (Simons mother and grandmother) and Louise from Lismore Automotive Service.

A fortunate group of North Coast TAFE students now know what it takes to run a small business after completing an exciting new mentoring program with the help of local business people.

As part of the Australian Governments $8 million Enterprise Learning for the 21st Century initiative, TAFE students Sally Surtees, Simon Glasby and Rebekah Hill McNeill have been a part of Youth EPIC Enterprise Partnerships in the Community project.

Each of the students spent time working with a different local business, gaining insight into all aspects of small business and learning valuable skills along the way.

Sally spent three months with Jet from Flourish Designer Studio in Lismore, and said the experience was incredible.

I dont think I would have had the courage to apply for a job before not having had any experience, said Sally. But Jet has made me feel so comfortable in the workplace and I feel much more confident. I also understand what it takes to make a small business successful and I really admire Jets motivation and dedication.

Meanwhile, Simon Glasby has spent his Youth EPIC time with David McDonald from Lismore Automotive Service and has scored himself some extra paid work over the school break.

It is Simons goal to do a motor mechanics apprenticeship and one day own his own mechanical repair shop, and he now feels much closer to that dream.

All Ive got to do now is complete my year 10 certificate and then start job hunting, said Simon. Thanks to David and everyone at Lismore Automotive Service, at least now I have some experience and I really know that this is what I want to do.

Youth EPIC coordinator Regan Harding was astounded by the response that 12 local business people gave to the mentoring project.

Without the support and time that these business people offered our TAFE students, the project would not have been the success that it was, Ms Harding said. I have seen a group of very special students work with very special community members and there have been many connections made between local business and industry groups, young people, parents, community groups, schools and local job network and employment services. Youth EPICs aim was to address and respond to local needs and I believe the project has been a major success in this respect, Ms Harding said.

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