‘Army’ manoeuvres outside council chambers
  • Wednesday 11 May 2011

Our parks, gardens and open spaces here on the Sunshine Coast took a bit of a drubbing during the floods earlier this year – so it was fortunate the Army was there to help out.

The Green Army, that is.

Under the State Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, participants from across the Sunshine Coast region gained work experience in rolling intakes over 17 weeks.

Sunshine Coast Council has provided participants with the opportunity to work on council-funded infrastructure projects which are focussed on delivering environmental outcomes.

Over a 12-month period, 36 jobseekers and six people with a disability have been nurtured into careers in the community sector following work placements in not-for-profit organisations and within council.

Participants gain a comprehensive introduction to community services work and acquired skills include horticulture (mowing, gardening and pruning), construction (basic tracks and trails, repair and construction of beach accesses), administration, retail, recycling, library assistant and aged care.

Similar programs managed by council in the past have shown 80% of people who have completed a project have found sustainable employment both full-time and casual.

Last week, one division of the ‘army’ was on manoeuvres outside council’s Nambour chambers, re-planting and mulching its surrounding gardens under the watchful and grateful eye of local councillor Paul Tatton.

“This is a great program for these job-seekers - providing them with valuable skills that can help kick-start a career while also doing something for the local community,” Cr Tatton said.

“They have done some fantastic work around the Coast – and I’m really happy to see them brighten up the front of Nambour Chambers, too.”

*A photo of the workers outside Nambour council chambers is available on request