Disadvantaged youth build affordable homes

Cianna Fitzpatrick and Connor Klemke will have secure employment for four years (Selina Ross, ABC News)

Tired of sitting at a desk, Cianna Fitzpatrick decided to swap school shoes for steel-capped boots, becoming one of six apprentices to start their training as part of Catholic initiatives in Tasmania. Source: ABC News.

The group builds social housing and houses for people on low incomes with St Joseph Affordable Homes.

Cianna, who said she had decided to “become a tradie lady”, said it gave her a good feeling to be helping other people move towards home ownership.

The apprentices were selected through the Catholic Church's youth employment and life skills coaching program Build Up Tassie, which helps young, disadvantaged Tasmanians.

The CEO of St Joseph Affordable Homes, Ben Wilson, said it was fortunate that the Church's entities could work together to provide the work-ready and work experience opportunities and guarantee a four-year commitment of apprenticeship.

Montrose teen Connor Klemke was thrilled to have secure employment for the next four years and said that during the pre-apprentice training, he loved the opportunity to try his hand at different trades before deciding which to pursue.

Connor said he had adapted well in the transition from school life to full-time employment.

Build Up Tassie coach Adrian Broomhall said part of the recruitment process was an interview to assess the applicant's "willingness to participate". He said the apprentices' enthusiasm and work ethic had impressed him.


Build Up Tassie program offers disadvantaged teens apprenticeship skills and a future (By Selina Ross, ABC News)

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