This week, spending time at the PEER training HQ coincided with their National Reconciliation Week morning tea with doughnuts galore. New CEO Brian Rungie was evident in his support for PEER’s new Reconciliation Action Plan and the commitment it for this initiative to shows in helping to bring greater diversity into their apprenticeship group and the industry more broadly. and its value to PEER and the host employers.
Delivering a powerful Welcome to Country was proud young Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna man Issac Hannam. He thanked his elders for their guidance and all of our ancestors who are supporting us throughout in all of our own journeys. Then he shared his musical talent with some live didgeridoo and some bush tucker inspired food. As we all come together to celebrate the culture of our First Nations people, this shared experience helps us all.
In addition to his performance, Isaac shared stories of his other experiences working within communities where barriers, including homelessness, create a strong case for specific programs to help Indigenous people engage in an apprenticeship. As Isaac said himself, the motivation and talent are there, but they need support.
One current program led by MEGT and delivered by PEER is iConstruct. This collaboration by Business SA members, funded by Skilling SA, consists of a four-week pre-apprenticeship program gives keen Indigenous people the opportunity to try the trades, get familiar with the tools, learn from one of the recognised PEER learning leaders, while being mentored by a local Indigenous leader plus come together as a group to achieve together, Farin Wanganeen.
“The participants pick up the basics really quickly because we put them in a small group so they can easily ask for guidance along the way”, said MEGT iConstruct program coordinator David Cocks.
“iConstruct is a new, Adelaide-based pre-apprenticeship program that includes bricklaying, painting, tiling, plastering and carpentry. Participants come out of the program with an individual training and support plan as well as pre-employment, employment and cultural awareness training, and specialised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentoring.
“Over the course of the two rounds that we’ve delivered throughout 2022, four participants are now proud apprentices with South Australian employers.
“If you’re an employer looking for an apprentice, then please get in contact as we’ve got more keen Indigenous participants ready to go!”.
For more information, please contact PEER.