Christmas completion for first AHFL House

24/11/2010

AHFL News Story
The Shalvey AHFL House during construction.

Affordable Housing for Life (AHFL) Project's first house for 'at risk' young people at Shalvey in Western Sydney will be completed in December - just in time for its first four residents to have a place to call home this Christmas.

Completion of the Marist Youth Care (MYC) program comes just five month's after the launch of AHFL - Australia’s first combined training, employment and housing project.

A second AHFL house is under construction at Hebersham, and should be finished early in the New Year. Based on the program’s success to date, MYC has signed contracts for houses three and four at Willmot, with a new group of trainees having completed pre-employment training and commenced construction on both sites.

With four houses now under construction, the AHFL project continues to address the two major issues faced by 'at risk' young people in Western Sydney - extremely high unemployment and homelessness. AHFL Case Coordinator Kim Lenard is working with AHFL Manager William Rak to assist AHFL trainees with open and sustainable employment opportunities, as well as post placement support such as mentoring and health services.

The AHFL project is based on a Social Enterprise Model which provides paid work and on-the-job training to enable the most vulnerable young people to transition successfully into open and sustainable employment. MYC deals exclusively with the lowest three per cent of disadvantaged young people in the Blacktown area.

Skills and commitment

Following intensive on and off-site building skills training, the trainees working at Shalvey have now passed the halfway point towards gaining their nationally accredited Certificate II General Construction qualification. All participants have already been awarded Statements of Attainment for the three modules they have completed.

As well as skills training, the trainees have assisted with building work sheds, steel framing, laying the concrete slabs and roofing.

William Rak said construction of the Shalvey house has progressed at a rate beyond expectations, due to the fast progress of the trainees’ skills and commitment.

"Four of the young men have had excellent attendance records for the last 13 weeks, rarely missing any time,” William said.

Two of the Shalvey trainees have been targeted for full open employment with AusSteel and a Solar Hot Water system supplier. Another apprentice has been targeted to move into employment with a steel fabricator.

Eleven 'at risk' young people have had the opportunity to gain pre-employment, training and construction experience via the AHFL project. A further intake of 10 new trainees has been finalised, with their pre-employment course commencing this month.

MYC CEO Cate Sydes said the organisation believed in giving its trainees the skills, training and confidence to be offered employment in the open marketplace."That is the true measure of the project’s success,” Cate said. "The completion of the sparkling new Shalvey house by Christmas will be an opportunity for Marist Youth Care to celebrate the brighter future the AHFL program offers for the young people of Western Sydney."

Related:

At-risk youth start building for their future

Affordable Housing for Life Project takes shape

Visit Marist Youth Care


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