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Our Community - Our Contribution

Bridging the Gap


Our Community - Our Contribution Page 4 Chairman's Report Page 5 CEO’s Report Page 6 Letter from the Auditor Page 8 Abridged Financial Report Page 10 Youth Page 12 Adults Page 14 Students Page 16 Community Page 18 Fundraising Page 20 Partnerships


Who we are and what we do

For almost 30 years Bridging the Gap (BTG) has been firmly embedded in WA’s local communities providing a diverse range of Federal and State funded programs to deliver employment, career development and training services through partnerships with community based organisations across the Perth to Peel region. With offices in Rockingham, Kwinana, Spearwood, Wembley, Mandurah and

an award winning community nursery at Ngulla, BTG aims to develop and grow people and communities by providing caring and innovative lifelong learning and development opportunities and employment services. Annually, over 5000 people access BTG’s range of employment and community services and BTG has a track record of consistently achieving outcomes for our

clients. With regards to our major contracts BTG is currently in the top 10 per cent of providers nationally for JSA delivery and the only Perth based agency awarded a five star rating from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Additionally, BTG boasts the highest commencement and outcome rates for Youth Connections delivery in Western Australia. ďƒ›


From the Chair In a year of both State and Federal elections it's been a demanding 12 months for Bridging the Gap. Many tenders have been submitted and won in a changing and highly competitive environment and our hard working and innovative staff have been asked to match new program delivery with changing client and contractual demands. Staff are to be congratulated for their perseverance, flexibility and dedication to client needs in this changing environment. In particular I would like to thank our Chief Executive, Colin Kerr, who has an amazing ability to navigate his way through complex changes and produce excellent outcomes.

Chairman, Evan Parker

Through out the year the whole staff complement has worked together, supported each other and achieved outstanding results as measured by our contractor and client feedback systems. This has been further reflected through our Youth Connections contract extension and awards from both the Rockingham/Kwinana Chamber of Commerce and Job Futures. Finally, I would like to thank my fellow Board members for their selfless support and contributions to Bridging the Gap and its welfare. I believe the staff, the Management team and the Board can quietly celebrate the terrific achievements of so many of our clients who have made so many individual contributions to their communities throughout 2012/13. ďƒ›


From the CEO Steered by our overall strategy, our focus in 2012/13 was on providing a framework for a sustainable future through accountable, professional and collaborative practise. To support this, our Board and Management teams engaged the services of an external consultant who completed a comprehensive audit aimed at benchmarking all aspects of our operation and enabled the development of our new business model which will provide directed services to all members of the community.

Chief Executive, Colin Kerr

This past year also saw our Employment Services extend to the Peel region for the first time in our 29-year-history after the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) awarded our five star team additional business within the Central West Metro and Dale Employment Service Areas, as well a Disability Employment Service contract in both regions.

Through our ongoing commitment to the communities of Rockingham and Kwinana we also launched a program aimed at providing a transition from education to employment for young people in the area, debuted our Academy for Community Employment initiative and continued to deliver our intergenerational unemployed families project (ASPIRE) which has since been re-funded for a further two years. Additionally, we hosted the internationally renowned David Rendall in Perth, a Youth Mentoring Forum on behalf of the Department for Communities and made an ongoing commitment to suicide prevention through the First Life Pledge. I also resigned from the board of Job Futures after eight years of service in order to input locally through an appointment by the Minister of Human Services to the local advisory group of Better Futures, Local Solutions in Kwinana. This past year, as always, has seen our habitually zealous staff continue to meet the challenges of empowering clients to achieve their goals and contribute to their communities and we continue to service over 5000 clients annually. As Chief Executive I have also had the privilege of working with a dedicated and diverse Board who freely give their time, knowledge and expertise. It is on their behalf that I’d like to thank all our partnering organisations, government, corporate and general supporters, volunteers, staff and donors for their heartfelt contributions. ďƒ›


Letter from the Auditor



Abridged Financial Report



Youth Currently West Australians are enjoying a low unemployment rate of less than five per cent – that is if you are not a young person. The unemployment rate of young people aged between 15 and 24 years is 16 per cent – triple that of the wider Australian community. A lack of work experience, unclear pathways from school to employment, the recent Global Financial Crisis, as well as personal barriers such as mental health issues are all contributing factors to the proportion of young people seeking employment who require a reinforced level of support and assistance in order to gain and maintain work. In 2012/13 through both the Youth Connections National Network and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Bridging the Gap’s Youth Workers have serviced over 500 young clients. Realising that our client’s are not a homogenous group - they are highly diverse in their experiences, capacities, ethnicities, where they live, what they hope to achieve and what their needs are – Bridging the Gap delivered various multifaceted youth programs during 2012/13.

EYEs & YEiS Through the Australian Government Department for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Local Employment Coordinator Flexible Funding Pool, Bridging the Gap was requested to


deliver two pilot programs for young people who had graduated from school but were having difficulty obtaining employment. The Early Youth Engagement (EYEs) and Youth Engagement in Skills (YEiS) programs aimed to engage stream one jobseekers aged between 17 and 19 years who were receiving Centrelink payments and have them participate in a two phase program that would see them undertake leadership development workshops, a mini expedition, try a trade and present them with opportunities to network with local employers, ultimately providing them with pathways to employment or training at the end of a twelve week period. The programs ran simultaneously in Rockingham and Mandurah with the purpose of intensifying support and activities for this group of more recent school leavers in order to accelerate their transition to employment or training by making local employers more aware of the Australian Government Employment and Skills incentives. The success of these two programs was realised at an employer breakfast held in Mandurah where participants were encouraged to network with local employers and share their experiences with the then Minister for Participation, Kate Ellis.

The overall success of both programs was measured by a number of strategies and both quantitative and qualitative information was collected as part of the evaluation process. Of the 50 young people originally engaged, 44 went on to secure full-time employment or training within two months of completing the program. Project coordinators achieved a better understanding of local young people’s career counselling needs and have continued to work with local schools to implement appropriate and sustainable strategies.

Crossing Point Bridging the Gap’s Crossing Point initiative takes a holistic approach to youth development. Exploring leadership skills, increasing self-esteem and supporting participants to identify their next steps act as the foundations of Crossing Point’s innovative process that combines an engaging expedition, coaching, career development and an employment academy skills course. 2012/13 has seen a phenomenal change within the Crossing Point program, leading to a redesign of its branding along with a comprehensive look at the product itself.

This process has enabled Crossing Point to strengthen its position in the youth sector whilst branching out to higher education and industry. Particular emphasis is now placed on social, cultural, technological, economic and environmental areas with the aim of actively involving all of our participants in the globalisation movement. Furthermore, the development of Crossing Point across the last 12 months has allowed the program to now provide a custom build package comprised of training, leadership, team building and management skills all delivered through an innovative expedition. In 2012/13 alone, Crossing Point has delivered five residential youth expeditions resulting in 85 per cent of participants moving on to full-time employment or reengaging with education. This achievement has been further enhanced by two expeditions including Dismantle’s Bike Rescue Project and an additional 11 participants taking part in an international global citizenship expedition with our partnering organisation, Raleigh. All of our participants are also encouraged to become members of our alumni, connecting with their community and sharing responsibilities which include social enterprise and community projects whilst still continuing to have access to the expertise of Crossing Point mentors. Pictured: Jason Tambling, Malaysian Minister for Youth and Sport, Andy Wahid, Eloise Royans and Chelsea Simon.


Adults There are few more critical factors in an individual’s well being than access to decent employment: dignity, identity, personal and family stability and income. It isn’t surprising then that unemployed workers are twice as likely as their employed counterparts to experience psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, poor self esteem and more often than not, need some extra help to ‘bridge the gap’. With this in mind and with an individualised approach, Bridging the Gap has continued to deliver five-star employment services through the Job Futures national network under contracts with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) in 2012/13. From six sites across Western Australia, our employment services team conveys a wide range of generalist and specialist employment, education and training programs all aimed at transitioning jobseekers into long-term, sustained employment.

Job Services Australia During 2012/13 Bridging the Gap’s Job Services Australia team have continued to provide a range of individually tailored services to jobseekers in order to meet their specific needs, servicing a total of 1860 clients in the past twelve months. Additionally, Bridging the Gap’s


employment services team have helped over 35 per cent of their client base receive additional training and education assistance, with a 17 per cent Indigenous placement rate and over 70 per cent of our long-term unemployed clients transitioning into employment in 2012/13. With these successes under our belt, the Department for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations awarded Bridging the Gap an overall five star rating in March of 2013 as well as additional business within the Central West Metro and Dale Employment Service Areas. This additional business has seen Bridging the Gap providing Job Services Australia for the first time in the Peel district.

Disability Employment Services In March of 2013 through the Job Futures National Network, Bridging the Gap undertook delivery of Disability Employment Services in the Centro West Metro and Dale Employment Service regions and have since serviced over 140 clients.

Through Disability Employment Services, jobseekers with a disability, injury or health condition receive assistance to prepare for, find and keep a job.

starting to expand our services into the ELearning environments enabling Bridging the Gap to expand its reach to a more diverse section of the community.

Pictured: Bridging the Gap’s Job Search Australia team, Chief Executive Colin Kerr with Brad Robbins and Member for Brand Gary Gray, Rebecca Reddick and Caroline Marshall with Youth and Community Manager Linda Colley and CCIWA’s Sean Wrigley.

RTO It has been a huge year of growth and development for Bridging the Gap’s training arm, with over 166 students passing through our doors forcing the need to consider new strategies and systems to ensure that we continue to successfully deliver our unique and high quality services. Our continued relationship with the Department of Training and Workforce Development has ensured 80 per cent of funded participants have transitioned into further education, training or employment The success of our accredited programs has also helped us to identify a need to strengthen our client’s soft skills, particularly around information and technology. From this a series of short courses were created and were very quickly running at capacity. As we look forward to the New Financial Year we are

Employers For almost 30 years Bridging the Gap has been connecting employers from multiple industries with work-ready jobseekers. Job Search Australia Regional Manager Jane McWhirter said her team maintains regular contact with employers from around the state who are struggling with high staff turn over. “What we’re hearing more and more is employers are struggling to acquire work-ready candidates.” Ms McWhirter said Bridging the Gap’s unique approach to job matching meant employers were being connected with right fit candidates. “All of our clients are treated on an individual basis and we really get to know their strengths and weaknesses,” she said. “This empowers us to match employees who are going to be a suitable and sustainable fit for employer vacancies,” she said. 2012/13 employers include: Modutech, Aqualoo, ISS, Austal Ships and Nags Head Tavern. 


Students Youth Connections Vulnerable or disadvantaged young people seeking employment after disengaging from education face a number of systemic, structural and personal barriers that impede their ability to secure and maintain employment. Because of this, young people who have left school, or are at risk of leaving school, can get support from Bridging the Gap through the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to continue with their education and finish Year 12 or equivalent. Bridging the Gap’s Youth Connections team provides flexible and personal support to assist young people reengage with education and take responsibility for their life choices. Throughout 2012/13 our team of dedicated Youth Workers have serviced over 500 clients and coached them through a variety of multifaceted programs with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations recently renewing the Youth Connections contract through to December 2014.

FUELLS Bridging the Gap’s Future Understanding of Life-Long Learning Skills (FUELLS) initiative, funded by the Youth Connections National Network, is an alternative education program developed by youth workers that aims to address the barriers preventing young people from attending mainstream


school and ultimately empower participants with the skills, knowledge and practical experience they need to reengage with education. This program is run twice annually, with over 30 young people participating throughout 2012/13 achieving a 90 per cent graduation rate and of that, 85 per cent reengaging with education or further training.

Young Parenting Program Graduates of Kwinana’s Young Parenting Program understand the notion of ‘hard work’ all too well. These young people are aged between 14 and 20 and have been disengaged from education after struggling to find affordable care for their families. In a learning environment in which participants can continue to enjoy direct access to their children, Bridging the Gap and partnering organisations have aimed to improve secondary education and vocational training outcomes for teen parents in the Kwinana area by engaging them in positive peer support and learning activities that enhance their long term social and economic wellbeing and deter their involvements in anti-social behaviour, including substance abuse. Partnering organisations include: The Department of Human Services, Better

Futures Local Solutions, Challenger, Gilmore College, KEYS, Meerilinga, The Smith Family and SMYL.

Dismantle Through funding from the Department of Education, Bridging the Gap has partnered with Dismantle to deliver a unique alternative learning opportunity for youth at risk aged between 15 and 17 years. As part of the Bike Restoration Partnership Project, participants fully restore recycled bicycles for charity after completing a comprehensive and hands-on bike mechanics course while Bridging the Gap delivers a wraparound service that connects them to further education and employment opportunities by delivering Certificate 1 in Work Preparation and career development through Coaching Young People for Success and pathway planning. This course gives participants the opportunity to develop their skills in writing resumes, communication, attending interviews, occupational health and safety and searching for jobs with over 70 per cent of partakers in 2012/13 returning to education or full-time study.

Career Development Bridging the Gap’s career development service is made available to all young clients who are seeking vocation guidance after disengaging from education and has had particular success through our Bike Restoration Partnership Project in which 70 per cent of participants who completed career development transitioned into further education receptive to their employment pathway. Career development is a process by which we match previous learning and work experience with a person’s personality and aspirations to discover potential career paths and assist them to achieve career goals. Participating in career development enables our clients to develop the skills necessary to make informed decisions about their working lives and ultimately, maximise their contribution to the communities in which they live and work. Clients are also provided with ongoing access to individual career counselling sessions in which our career development specialist coaches them through their individual report, assists in researching appropriate occupations and/or training requirements whilst taking into account any barriers that may be impeding their ability to reengage with employment or education. Pictured: Dismantle project work, David Rendall with City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams, Footprints project photos from 2012 and 2013.


Community Ngulla Training & Community Centre Ngulla was established in 2005 with guidance from a partner steering committee that included Peet Ltd, BHP Billiton (Nickel West), City of Kwinana and the Medina Aboriginal Culture Centre. Eight years on, this commercial nursery and horticultural training centre is still preparing at-risk youth, indigenous people, people with mental health issues and jobseekers for employment and providing learning opportunities for the local community. In 2012/13 over 130 long-term unemployed Job Search Australia clients engaged in our horticulture based work experience program at the nursery, with particular success amongst those who enjoy the outdoor work and experiential learning approach embedded in the handyman activity. Furthermore, through our innovative New Leaf initiative Ngulla offered unemployed and underemployed members of the community the opportunity to participate in a free four-month study and industry accredited field work course that saw them gain a Certificate II in Land Management. This innovative and creative program saw participants working across sites in Yalgorup and Lake Clifton alongside local land-care groups Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and Men of the Trees to plant more than 10,000 trees as part of the Tuart Forest Restoration Project which helps to


restore the habitat of endangered species native to Western Australia. During 2012/13 Ngulla also contributed to National Tree Day and Grandparents Day through funding from the Department for Communities and was one of seven community nurseries to receive a grant from the Westpac Foundation’s National Innovation Grant Program.ďƒ›

ASPIRE Bridging the Gap’s ASPIRE initiative, which assists and supports families in the Kwinana area who are facing long-term patterns of multigenerational unemployment, provides services such as individual and family counselling, career counselling, mentoring, and reintegration of families to the local community, as well as provide access to training, short courses, work experience and local employment opportunities. The program, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Human Services under the Better Futures Local Solutions initiative, has worked intensively with over 40 jobless

families in the Kwinana area throughout 2012/13, including seven local parents looking to re-enter the workforce after having children. With further funding from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, ASPIRE was then able to offer the parents the opportunity to engage in recognised barista training while receiving ongoing pastoral care, mentoring and job search assistance. With a 100 per cent graduation success rate, and a further 75 per cent then going on to secure sustainable employment in the hospitality industry, the success of this program was soon recognised with a nomination from the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce Regional Business Awards in the category of Corporate Community Award. Pictured: Grandparents Day 2012, Chamber of Commerce & Industry Award, Barista Graduates, New Leaf Graduates.

Anyone Fancy a Cuppa? Bridging the Gap’s ASPIRE initiative hosted a celebratory lunch in March for a group of local parents after they completed recognised barista training funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Bridging the Gap Chief Executive Colin Kerr said the ASPIRE initiative provided participants with mentoring and pastoral care as well as continued ongoing job search assistance. “Many of the women engaged in this course as a reintroduction to training and the workforce after having children,” he said. “We’re very pleased to announce that all participants passed the course and Nick and the team at ASPIRE will continue to support them through the job search process.” Amy Hutchison (24) said the program provided her with a chance to advance her career and hopefully secure work. “I have two young children and I would never have been able to afford the cost of the barista training by myself,” she said. “Successfully completing it has really given me the confidence to continue studies in the hospitality field and work toward obtaining employment.” Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations representative Margaret Banks congratulated all the participants and said the benchmark has now been set for future partakers. “We’re extremely proud that all involved completed the course to such a high standard,” she said. “We hope to see them at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Expo networking with potential employers.” This project was funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations through the Local Employment Coordinator Flexible Funding Pool Initiative.


Fundraising Fundraising in 2012/13

Gift Fund

Bridging the Gap hosted its annual family fundraising event at United Cinemas in Rockingham on April 24 where patrons were treated to an exclusive screening of DreamWorks Animation, The Croods in 3D.

Our Staff Gift Fund donates to and supports clients and individuals who may be experiencing hardship.

Greeted by National Basketball League and Wildcats legend, Brad Robbins, children were invited to get their face painted and received a goodie bag full of treats from our generous supporters and sponsors, including: The Fremantle Dockers, IGA, The Fairies, Sports Stars and Legends, Object Framers, The Perth Wildcats, AMF Bowling, Officeworks, The Western Australian Museum and Meadows Dental Care. Our youngest patron, Lochie Lawler (5), was very excited to take out the major prize of an official team signed Wildcats basketball. Throughout 2012/13 we have also vended Entertainment Books and Perth City Ballet tickets in order to continue raising funds for our various Youth and Community programs. All proceeds from our fundraising activities are contributed towards programs such as Crossing Point - an adventure camp for atrisk teens; Ngulla Training & Community Centre - a plant nursery supplying work experience and training in horticulture and conservation and land management to atrisk youth, Indigenous youth, people with disabilities and those receiving Government benefits as part of the Work For the Dole scheme; and the ASPIRE Kwinana Families Project - a program that breaks the cycle of multi-generational unemployment in Kwinana. ďƒ›


Last year, our gift fund totalled more than $5,000, which paid for ongoing accommodation for three homeless clients, a commitment to Telethon and supporting a Bridging the Gap team member who was experiencing financial adversity. ďƒ›

Pictured (clockwise from top): Laureen Weyell and Lochie Lawler (5) enjoying their goodie bags at United Cinema. Lochie Lawler (5) pictured after winning the major prize of an official Wildcats basketball signed by the entire team and presented by Brad Robbins. Two lucky raffle winners are presented with prizes by Wildcat legend Brad Robbins.


Partnerships Bridging the Gap would like to thank and acknowledge the many organisations with whom we partner to deliver our programs and initiatives.ďƒ›



Department for Child Protection

The Smith Family

Passages Resource Centre


Department of Human Services


Kwinana Industries Council

Government of Western Australia


Community First International

Maori Women’s Welfare League WA

Billy Dower Youth Centre

Police & Citizens Youth Centre

The Salvation Army

Master Builders Association WA

Uniting Care West

Medicare Local


Clontarf Foundation

Polytechnic West

Murray House Resource Centre

Kwinana Early Years Services



City of Rockingham

Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation



Koorliny Arts Centre

City of Kwinana

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

City of Cockburn

Life Business

Challenger Institute

City of Mandurah

Raleigh International

Palmerston Assoc.

Career Works


Peel Youth Services

Midland Job Link

Murdoch University

Australian Government

Geraldton Regional Education Centre


Department of Education

Department of Employment (formerly DEEWR)


Bridging the Gap | Rockingham (Head Office) 10 Leghorn Street Rockingham, WA 6168 PO Box 675, Rockingham WA 6968 Phone: +61 8 9550 1111 Fax: +61 8 9592 8217 Email:

Bridging the Gap | Wembley Level 1, 46 Salvado Road, Wembley Phone: +61 8 9380 4705 Fax: +61 8 9380 4716

Bridging the Gap | Spearwood Unit 4, 235 Rockingham Road, Spearwood PO Box 7044, Spearwood WA 6163 Phone: +61 8 9434 6575 Fax: +61 8 9434 6794

Bridging the Gap | Kwinana Darius Wells Library & Resource Centre 2 Robbos Way, Kwinana WA 6166 PO Box 221, Kwinana WA 6966 Phone: +61 8 9419 2553 Fax: +61 8 9439 2552

Bridging the Gap | Mandurah 56 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah PO Box 1756, Mandurah WA 6210 Phone: +61 8 9586 3888 Fax: +61 8 9586 3999

Ngulla Training & Community Centre 68 Born Road, Casuarina Phone: +61 8 9439 3806


BTG Annual Report 2012-2013  

We bridge the gap and build communities by empowering disadvantaged and disenfranchised individuals to build their self sufficiency through...

BTG Annual Report 2012-2013  

We bridge the gap and build communities by empowering disadvantaged and disenfranchised individuals to build their self sufficiency through...