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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

Garden blitz helps pave the way to employment

2013-11-08

A program aimed at up skilling Aboriginal jobseekers has delivered benefits for a long-time Housing SA tenant in Elizabeth South.

Minister for Social Housing Tony Piccolo today attended the completion of the second Aboriginal Garden Blitz program, in which 14 Aboriginal people transformed the garden of Housing SA tenant Betty Branson.

Mr Piccolo said the program was a partnership between Housing SA; ART Employment; the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology; Tauondi College; and the City of Playford.

"This project is a great example of the great things that can be achieved when State and local governments work together, along with non-government agencies," he said.

"For the participants, it's a chance to complete a Certificate II in Horticulture and gain valuable landscaping skills that can be used to secure ongoing employment and, for Betty, it's a fantastic chance to get a magnificent new garden.

"The results today are clearly on show for all to see – both in the finished product, and the fact that four participants have already secured further employment."

Mr Piccolo said the first Garden Blitz program began in October last year, and proved so successful a second round was organised.

"By creating educational development opportunities, the program is helping to turn around long-term unemployment in Aboriginal communities," he said.

"All participants receive mentoring support, health checks and literacy support to overcome employment barriers."

Mr Piccolo said some participants in the pilot round gained work on major projects such as the Adelaide Oval redevelopment, while others went on to traineeships, or further study at university and TAFE.

"I congratulate everyone involved in this round of the Garden Blitz, and look forward to seeing an equally positive result from future rounds of this great program," he said.

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