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SPARK Construction Graduates

Full Story from the Yass Tribune

Twelve students celebrated their graduation from a construction program on Thursday, June 1 at Zac’s Place.

The ceremony celebrated the participants who benefited from the program by TAFE NSW, Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre, Zac’s Place and Yass Community Garden and SPARK Training and Employment Initiative.

The students constructed a new driveway, new pathway, paving in the garden and brickwork at Zac’s Place. Graduate Kieran Dowling, 22, said he thought it was a good idea to have a go.

”I heard about the program just from signage up around town. Thought I should try it out,” he said.

Mr Dowling applied and went through an induction day in February.

“The major highlight was putting the driveway into Zac’s Place. We’ve done all of it,” he said.

He said his goals following on from this program were to obtain full-time work and more community work.

The program, which ran across 12 weeks, was the first of its kind in Yass. Glenn Stewart, co-founder of Zac’s Place, said the collaboration had been positive.

“It’s just an amazing outcome for young people and older ones. Just a positive future for everyone involved and the community general,” he said.

Emma Sckrabei, Spark Training and Employment manager, praised the students for their effort.

”The students did amazing. It was a combination of theory and practical. A lot of these guys have been disconnected from education for a while, so to make sure they don’t just sit in class is really important,” Ms Sckrabei said.

The program is set to continue, with Zac’s Place and the Yass Community Garden applying for additional funding.

“We want to build a veranda and do a whole lot more work in the garden. Hopefully if we get all the funding, we’ll start recruiting for next year’s program in February,” Ms Sckrabei said.

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