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The initiative landing Queensland kids work

LOW on confidence, short on skills and out of luck when looking for work, 20-year-old Gary Kyle simply needed a helping hand to get started.

But he's now flourishing as part of an environmental conservation company with his job helping to reduce sediment and erosion from flowing into rivers and affecting the Great Barrier Reef. Having graduated from high school in 2017, Mr Kyle got involved in the Link and Launch initiative, piloted in Townsville, which helps youngsters transition from school to work or further study.

Kirwan High students Tajshan Santo-Messa, 17, and Micah Adidi with Education Minister Grace Grace. Picture: Evan Morgan
Kirwan High students Tajshan Santo-Messa, 17, and Micah Adidi with Education Minister Grace Grace. Picture: Evan Morgan

"Link and Launch manager Sheree Horwood looked at my resume and saw that I needed to build on it," Mr Kyle said.

"To do that she enrolled me into training through Industry Training Queensland so I could do rural ops and build my resume with skills and certificates. "After that she introduced me to LearnIt and I was able to get my license through there."

It gave Mr Kyle the fresh start he needed, allowing him to travel to and from work and land his current role, crediting the program to getting his life on track. Ten more state high schools will now join the Link and Launch initiative, which has assisted more than 360 young people since its 2019 launch.

Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper at Kirwan High. Picture: Evan Morgan
Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper at Kirwan High. Picture: Evan Morgan

Nursing student Banabake Benjamin has also credited the program with providing her life changing opportunities at TAFE.

"Nursing was my biggest dream and this helped me get into it," she said.

Originally published as The initiative landing local kids work


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