Local youths in pre-apprenticeships will gain valuable learning and life experience under a new mentoring program being run by Challenger TAFE.
The Seniors Supporting Juniors program links volunteer mentors with metals, construction and automotive pre-apprentices at Challenger TAFE, many of which are students at Mandurah Senior College.
The program is supported by the City of Mandurah and the Peel Development Commission, and Mandurah Mayor and Challenger TAFE Governing Council Chair, Paddi Creevey, said it offered a number of benefits.
“Seniors Supporting Juniors offers a great opportunity for all participants,” she said.
“It is a chance for community-spirited retirees to remain engaged in the community, which is a big part of our Active Ageing strategy, and it also helps young people realise their goals by benefiting from their mentors’ life and career experience.”
Challenger TAFE's Director for the Peel region, Mardi Dwyer, said that while there had been an encouraging response from local seniors, more volunteers were urgently needed to meet the demand.
“We’ve had some wonderful volunteers come forward so far, but in order to fully realise the ambitions of the program we are calling for more seniors to become involved,” she said.
The first mentor signed up to the program, Robert Martin, believes the program provides young people with a strong basis for their future.
“If I can encourage young people and share my experiences with them, I believe it will give them a solid foundation for life,” he said.