The Smart, Skilled and Hired Youth Employment Program is a new service delivered by CHESS and our network partner CoAct that helps young people connect with training, mentoring and work experience so they can become work ready and kick start a fulfilling career.


Since launching this service in September we’ve had several successes within our local community!

We’d like to introduce you to Joshua, a local of the Hastings region, who we recently connected with.

Josh is currently in his 3rd year studying for his online Bachelor of Nursing with the University of New England. Josh connected with Judy at CHESS early in December 2017 because, although he had some casual work as an AIN at a local Nursing Home, he needed regular employment. Josh was having a hard time. With unreliable and infrequent hours at his current position he was becoming quite desperate for a steady flow of income to live and pay his bills.

Josh was losing confidence that he would ever gain a role that met his needs. He had requested more hours from his employer with no substantial change to his circumstances.

After connecting with our Youth Employment Coach Judy late last year, things began to change for Josh. After signing up to our Smart, Skilled & Hired Youth Employment Program all the pieces started falling into place. With support from Judy, Josh started marketing himself to three different Nursing Homes in his local area.

Josh was offered an immediate interview at the first facility he approached. After his successful interview he was invited to attend induction and be provided shifts on the roster. The second facility also offered an interview and was successful after his pre-employment work check.

When Josh’s current employer heard of his attempt to gain suitable hours elsewhere they offered him a 25 hour per week contract to work as a Home Care Personal Carer. Josh accepted this offer and hasn’t looked back.

After only one marketing meeting with his CHESS Youth Employment Coach, Josh had more confidence and was able to secure several different employment offers, allowing him flexibility to decide what suited his current needs and future plans.

Joshn is being provided time off to participate in his intensive school blocks and his practical placement. He is enjoying the stability of working within his contracted hours and continues to study hard to successfully complete his Bachelor Degree.

“The coach, Judy was amazing to get along with. She listened well and respected me as an individual. The coach is really there to help you as long as you are willing to help yourself. I really can’t thank Judy enough for what she has helped me accomplish since joining them as a participant. The confidence boost and moral support of having someone there to help push you and guide you into better employment is outstanding, and the ongoing support and communication from the case worker is simply amazing.” – Josh

Guidance and support form organisations like CHESS can make a real difference in the lives of young people like Josh. If you’re a young jobseeker under 25 or a recent school leaver looking for work our Smart, Skilled and Hired staff want to speak with you!

Click here for more info