National Job Link uses virtual reality about working in the real world to engage young people unemployed or disassociated from school.
National Job Link uses virtual reality about working in the real world to engage young people unemployed or disassociated from school. Markus Schreiber

Virtual reality used to engage unemployed young people

VIRTUAL reality is a great way to engage someone and get them excited, but who would have thought it could engage young people who are unemployed or disassociated from school?

A new employment agency in Rockhampton that helps 15 to 21-year-olds find work or enrol in training is taking advantage of the stimulating technology to motivate and encourage young people find work in areas that interest them.

The agency - National Job Link - is able to offer virtual reality as an engaging tool as part of the Federal Government funded four-year program Transition to Work.

And it is only one of the many tools or activities the agency uses to engage with young people. Others include music, art, sports, training and work experience.

Instead of sending young people to apply for every job available in a 10km radius, the agency focuses on engaging with the young people who are unemployed and disassociated with school and finding out what their passions are and what job they would like to do.

Manager Clare Davey said NLJ also works with other organisations, such as Headspace, to provide support for the young people they work with.

"We are really focussing on the young person and treating them as an individual," she said.

NLJ employment specialist Ben Harrold said one of the biggest parts of his role is to speak to employers and let them know what NLJ deso.

"Seventy five per cent of the jobs aren't even advertised," he said.

Mr Harrold talks to businesses to find out what they are looking for in new employees and NLJ finds a match among their participants.

Sometimes an employer can not see some of the qualities they are looking for in a future employee just through a resume, so NJL organises work experience for its participants.

"The work experience program is a great opportunity for participants to showcase their skills to employers," he said.

The participants have usually identified the type of work they would like to do and NLJ assists them to get skills or certificates needed for that job, such as a drivers license or blue card.

Ms Davey said NLJ also works on building participants' confidence.

"If you can build their confidence, they can do anything," she said.


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