An opportunity to break new ground

Monday, 19 August 2019

A City of Greater Geelong Facebook post promoting Opportunity East piqued the interest of Whittington’s Alana Arbuthnot.

“It said ‘reskill, retrain and rebuild confidence’.

“That headline grabbed me very quickly, because I thought that’s what I need to do, my skills and previous employment are no longer relevant,” Mrs Arbuthnot said.

“I’m really glad I saw the flyer.”

The 46-year-old had largely been out of the workforce for 15 years, as she focused on caring for her three children, including two who have a disability.

A return to her former career was not an option, with her cinema projectionist role made redundant due to advances in technology.

Mrs Arbuthnot was looking to build on her one day per week casual work in IT when she discovered Opportunity East’s Certificate II in Production Horticulture course.

“Now that my kids are at an age where I can have some more time for myself, I’m very keen to learn some new skills to get back into the workforce,” she said.

“We’re here with our hands in the soil. I think we are learning practical skills that will help me find employment at the end of it.”

The course caters for people with family commitments, finishing at 3pm on both days of the program, which are run at Encompass’ The Paddock and the Leopold Community Hub.

With class sizes capped, the program aims to foster an encouraging and understanding atmosphere among the 11 participants.

“It’s a very supportive environment, both from the participants and the trainers,” Mrs Arbuthnot said.

“I love that I’m here and being supported to do something for me.”

Page last updated: Monday, 19 August 2019