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A successful initiative that supports people to set up their own small businesses or find paid jobs is now accessible to more job seekers in Logan.

YFS created the Spark service for public housing tenants in 2017 and has just received funds from the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to expand the initiative to more people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are looking for work in Logan and surrounds.

YFS Chief Executive Cath Bartolo said Spark was an out-of-the-box approach to supporting jobseekers who find that mainstream employment programs don’t work.  

“Not everyone fits mainstream employment. Not everyone wants a full-time job,” Ms Bartolo said. “Spark sees potential where others see roadblocks.

“Through Spark, people can get the mentoring, specialist advice and coaching they need to achieve their goal of employment, including self-employment.”

YFS is particularly keen to support people facing significant barriers to employment, such as people who have been recently homeless, people with disability, people impacted by domestic and family violence, people in financial distress and people with language or cultural barriers. 

Spark offers them the chance to identity their goals, assess their capabilities, build on their skills and interests and link with a wide network of services and organisations.

The network includes Many Rivers for micro-enterprise grants, the Kingston East Neighbourhood Group and Logan East Community Neighbourhood Association for training, Substation33 for work experience, NDIS providers, Good Shepherd micro-finance for no-interest loans, employment service providers for employer incentives and Global Sisters, BUMP, The Centre for Women and Co, Beyond DV and Fair Go Australia for personal development programs. 

Ms Bartolo said Spark coaches also worked to secure donations from local businesses and individuals.

“Through our network, we support people to expand their beliefs about what is possible,” she said. “Take for example the personal development programs. They help people challenge their self-imposed limitations, to bring about innovative thinking and encourage the concepts of being productive and teamwork.

“That’s what makes Spark so unique. We support the whole person, rather than focusing on employment and economic engagement alone.

“If you’re experiencing disadvantage and are looking for work but you’ve always dreamed about working for yourself, please contact us.”

Spark is funded the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training through the Create Your Future Job pilot.

Caption: Through Spark, YFS encourages Logan businesses and people to support disadvantaged jobseekers to set up small businesses or gain paid jobs. Pictured is YFS’ Thriving Families Manager Carolyn Curry (left) and Spark coach Deb Jones (right) giving Spark client Suraya Abdijuma a sewing machine donated by a Logan resident. Thanks to Spark, Suraya has set up her own dressmaking business specialising in children’s wear.

Media contacts
Tel: 07 3826 1500

Nathan Francis | YFS Communications Manager: nathanf@yfs.org.au
Judith Hunter | Strategic Development Manager: judithh@yfs.org.au