BWNG gets funding for Gloucester-specific work-ready workshops

Meg Coote is skilled as a barista, which could be one of the training options available through BWNG thanks to the grant. Photo Anne Keen
Meg Coote is skilled as a barista, which could be one of the training options available through BWNG thanks to the grant. Photo Anne Keen

The Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group (BWNG) is excited to be able to offer Gloucester-specific work-ready workshops thanks to a recent funding announcement by the Westpac Foundation.

The foundation's Rural Community Grant, in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), will provide $10,000 to the BWNG for employment, education, and training support.

It's good news for BWNG's training coordinator Erin Lute, as the funding will allow the organisation to tailor the training programs to Gloucester's needs.

"For us, it's all about local people, local business," Erin said. "We've had a lot of feedback saying that some of the programs offered aren't specific to Gloucester, so we are thrilled to be able to offer this one."

According to Erin, the idea will be to work directly with business owners to find out what type of employee they are after in order to provide the right training to suit their needs.

If a cafe needs a barista, then they will offer a course. If a producer needs someone with a work safety white card, then they will provide the training.

"It'll be a combination of accredited and non-accredited courses that help fill the gaps for local businesses," Erin explained.

"We will set up the training to make people job ready."

Given the events over the past year, with drought, bushfires and a global pandemic, there has been an increase in unemployment in the region. This program will be designed to help those people get back to work.

Westpac Foundation chief executive officer, Susan Bannigan said the rural grants have been designed to provide assistance for those hard hit areas.

"Through the Rural Community Grants program, FRRR and Westpac Foundation are proud to back local groups to improve the opportunities within their communities so they can continue to prosper," Susan said.

In addition to funding, BWNG will receive pro bono support and access to leadership development programs, legal support, and financial capability training via Westpac's Changemaker program.

"While access to funds is incredibly important, the collaborative support we also offer through our program partners, like access to expert skills and resources, has become integral in driving these deeper relationships with our grant recipients," Susan said.

For more information on the Westpac Foundation Community Grants program and recipients, please visit www.westpacfoundation.org.au.