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Palm Island residents dialled into a new future

Twelve First Nations Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program students at TAFE Queensland have secured employment with Telstra as part of an innovative program located on Palm Island.

TAFE Queensland is supporting a Queensland State Government Initiative to establish Digital Service Centres across regional Queensland locations which will be operated by Telstra, offering employment to residents.

Training was provided at TAFE Queensland’s Palm Island campus over twelve weeks, which saw SEE First Nation students complete two weeks of employability skills, followed by a tailored ten-week “boot camp” focused on building skills for a particular industry. Across the ten weeks, the students were introduced to the language and numeracy skills required for call centre operations, along with other vital digital and workplace skills.

The students were eased into the new routine, commencing with three days of training a week and building up to five days by the end of the program, simulating a real-world work environment. Upon completion of the twelve-week course, they commenced a traineeship and enrolled into Certificate III in Business (BSB30120) to upskill further.

Growing confidence combined with tailored training around their upcoming field of employment provided a strong foundation for getting them job-ready at a national company, with one of the students confirming the course “boosted the confidence I have in myself to strive towards a rewarding career”.

Graduation was a cause for celebration, bringing together the local community including many guests from Telstra, the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Palm Island Community Company, Palm Island Council and Rainbow Gateway.

Telstra will employ graduates of the program at a new purpose-built call centre located on Palm Island.

The SEE student's feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing their satisfaction with the opportunity to interact and learn from their peers. One student commented, "Being able to collaborate with my classmates and gain knowledge from them has been incredibly helpful." Another student said, "Working together as a team and communicating effectively has really improved my learning experience."

Their time in the SEE program has fostered a strong bond of trust and confidence in one another before officially working as a team.

This program comes after a successful pilot program launched in Cherbourg, followed closely by a second program located in Jumbun. Due to this program's warm reception and successful implementation, a second cohort of SEE students has closely followed suit on Palm Island.

TAFE Queensland is proud to support the Queensland Government in its initiative to upskill and connect residents with local employers, signalling a brighter future for job seekers across the regional corners of the state.

The SEE program supports job seekers with free, work-focused training. Throughout the course, students improve their job application skills, learn how to use industry-leading digital technology and complete short courses to stand out in the hiring process.

TAFE Queensland currently delivers the SEE program in 50 locations across Queensland. Job seekers can get started by obtaining a referral from Services Australia or their Workforce Australia provider.

The Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.