Bootcamp, but not as you know it

How boot camps are giving young people a leg up to employment

Bootcamp. I bet you’re thinking about scraping the sleep out of your eyes at a 6am fitness session. Nup, but this type of boot camp we’re talking about is definitely an eye opener.

Scott Javier — Citi New Recruit Graduate |Trainee — The George Institute of Global Health | Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology

It’s not nasty tractor-tyre dragging stuff. Humiliation and tears just aren’t part of this boot camp.

There’s an organisation that’s been quietly running boot camps for young disadvantaged people in NSW and Victoria. It’s an intensive in-school course focusing on job readiness and enterprise skills. The boot camps are muscling up young people to give them a leg up to further training and meaningful jobs. In short, it’s setting them on a course to secure employment. No more brick walls.

Citi New Recruits Program will this year run 16 Bootcamps for 320 young people. It targets youth who are jobless or at risk of becoming unemployed following school. The program’s in its fifth year and sounds ‘feel good’, but it’s actually working. Each year more than eight out of 10 participants go onto further training or nab jobs in industries or sectors they’re hankering for. We’re talking about 800 graduates of the program, too.

Here’s one of them, Scott Javier. He says his goals and sense of purpose changed following the program.

“I enjoy life a lot more. I’m earning money and I feel like I’m actually working towards something. I have gained experience of working in an adult environment and have learnt many things that will help me in my future as an IT support worker,” says Scott.

Citi Foundation funds the program which Scott completed, while Skilling Australia Foundation does the hard yards in running it. That foundation was one of six beneficiaries to receive a whopping total of $1.5 million from Citi Foundation this year. There’s a bit of hoo-hah about the announcement today, Friday 1 September 2017. Citi Foundation, teamed up with Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison MP, to name those mightily chuffed six beneficiary organisations.

You might hear about the banner for Citi Foundation’s program, Pathways to Progress, and think, yeah, it’s just for disadvantaged kids in NSW and Victoria. Stop there. Pulse check. Pathways to Progress actually went global in February with plans to pump a hefty US$100M into similar programs worldwide over the next three years. It’s about helping half a million young people aged 16 to 24 build an entrepreneurial mindset, learn how to become leaders, boost their financial and workplace skills and begin to carve out their career. Citi’s big on philanthropy and it also has legions of dedicated Citi volunteers to help support their efforts.

Citi knows all too well that in low socio-economic areas there can be a disconnect between young people leaving school and finding work or going onto useful training. It’s crazy stuff when you hear Australian employers are crying for skilled candidates to fill 150,000 vacancies. Vocational education and training (VET) offers a nifty solution. Actually, nine out of the 10 occupations to experience the biggest job growth over the next five years involve VET. According to the Commonwealth Department of Employment, there will be strong demand for general sales assistants, nurses, carers for aged people and those with disabilities, child carers, accountants, electricians, general clerks, contract/program/project administrators, chefs and waiters.

So, while you might have been scratching your head thinking about how the kids of today will find work, Skilling Australia Foundation and Citi have been on the case year after year.

Bootcamps. All about building strength and flexibility. Inspiring.