BACK AGAIN: Last year's Life Skills Programs participants during a field trip to Sonoma Mine. Pictured: Will Birkett, Kristal Chapman, Sharni Wallace, Jarryd May, Kia Altmann, Courtney Sanim, Brittany McGregor, Heather Brown (Facilitator) and Joanne Byrne (Q Coal).
BACK AGAIN: Last year's Life Skills Programs participants during a field trip to Sonoma Mine. Pictured: Will Birkett, Kristal Chapman, Sharni Wallace, Jarryd May, Kia Altmann, Courtney Sanim, Brittany McGregor, Heather Brown (Facilitator) and Joanne Byrne (Q Coal). Contributed

Life skills program boosting student employment

COLLINSVILLE teenagers dreaming about big cities and faraway places will be better equipped to get there with the return of the Collinsville Youth Coalitions Life Skills Program.

Returning for its third year, the program will run for nine weeks from April until June and will target students in Years 11 and 12.

Taking part in several unique workshops, students will gain experience in everything from budgeting, mechanical skills, and cooking.

Collinsville Community Association co-ordinator Heather Brown said the program boosts confidence and builds a sense of independence.

"We teach them about budgeting in case they have to move out of home and we do a mechanic workshop where they learn how to change a tyre and change their oil," she said.

"It teaches them how to think for themselves, they learn how to shop better, and take care of themselves."

Mrs Brown said 2019 will look to build on last year's program which was hailed as a massive success.

She said the program will be much of the same but will include the addition of a health and hygiene workshop which will be conducted by Girudala.

The workshop will shed light on the dangers alcohol and drugs present, and educate on safe sex, personal appearance and physical health.

Mrs Brown is confident the new module will be of a great benefit.

"A lot of kids are quite withdrawn when they start and then after they've finished you see a big change in them," Mrs Brown said.

"They can communicate better and are more engaging, and get a better understanding of team building."

The program will also include a camping trip as well a field trip out to Sonoma Mine for a better understanding on how to become work ready.

Mrs Brown said there will be a high emphasis on resume building, which has helped enable past participants of the program find stable work.

"We've had two kids who've managed to pick up traineeships out of it," she said.

"We practice mock interviews with them so they're not overawed during the real thing.

"It's a bit daunting at first for them, but it enables us to sit down with them and tell them where they've gone wrong and what they can improve on."

The program will commence on May 2.