Council-based traineeships and apprenticeship positions haven given a number of young community members the opportunity to learn new life skills, and some well-earned money, thanks to a program funded by the federal government.
Courtney Rintoule is one of the lucky few who is currently part way through her customer service traineeship with the West Wimmera Council.
She said that she is glad she took the opportunity and encourages other school-leavers to consider similar full-time traineeships.
"Nowadays it is really hard to find a full-time or part-time job, I am really, really lucky to have this opportunity, and other people aren't so lucky," she said.
"It's a great opportunity and I am really glad that I went for it. It helped my people skills because I am quite a shy and quiet person. It helped my communication and confidence."
After graduating school, Ms Rintoule was working casually at a supermarket, but wanted more secure work; she was recommended to apply for the position online by her mother.
"I have friends doing casual work and not getting any shifts because of the COVID lockdown. I think I am really lucky to have this job. If there are any opportunities like this that come up just go for it," she said.
At the end of the program, Ms Rintoule will receive a Certificate III in Business, which can be used as a stepping stone for a Diploma in Business in the future.
Anyone interested in a future positions is encouraged to send an expression of interest to Human Resource Manager Janet Watt on 13 99 72.
The skills program recently took applications for positions as an automotive heavy diesel apprentice in Edenhope, and a parks and garden trainee in Kaniva.
Under the program, the automotive apprentice would complete a Certificate III in Automotive Heavy Diesel, and the parks and garden trainee would complete a Certificate III in Parks and Gardens.
Interim Chief Executive Officer, Paul Brumby, places a high value on locally-based youth employment and workplace training programs.
"Council has a long-standing reputation of supporting apprentices and trainees and we wish to continue doing so," he said.
"We know these opportunities encourage young people to stay living local, which in turn stimulates our local economy and often provides employers with a loyal, local employee as a result."
Did you know you can receive updates straight to your inbox? To make sure you're up-to-date with news from across the region, sign up below.
Letter to the editor
Do you have something to say on this issue? Send a Letter to the Editor to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.