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Afford’s SLES (School Leaver Employment Support) Program trainers are always thinking outside-of-the-box to organise opportunities to support trainees learn and develop.

Explore Work Opportunities that Interest You

Recently, trainees from our SLES Marrickville site participated in a tour of Hurstville Community Garden. Their trainer, Ann Maree, organised the visit to give trainees, Anna and Jason, an insight into active and outdoor work opportunities. Both Anna and Jason are interested in roles that involve ‘hands-on’ tasks. So, a tour of a working garden gave them ideas about different roles they could secure.

Ann Maree reached out to the Hurstville Community Garden Coordinator, Charlotte, to organise a visit. Charlotte welcomed the trainees and offered a tour of the garden and a gardening workshop.

Work and Sensory Experiences

It was a great learning experience for the two trainees. It also proved a very sensory experience as well. Jason and Anna were able to walk around the garden and touch and smell the different herbs and flowers that grew.

During the tour around the garden, they also saw a number of garden beds maintained by local residents. Jason and Anna learned that as a community garden, the locals of the area were responsible for helping to maintain the garden. With effort from the entire community, the garden could produce herbs, fruits, and vegetables for all to harvest and enjoy.

Connect with the Community

Many of the plants were fruiting with chilli, papaya, rhubarb, beans, and radish. Jason and Anna had the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the garden bed owners too.

Jason and Anna had lots of fun munching and crunching their way around the garden produce of strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and Lilli Pilli berry.

Trainees also viewed the gardening ‘tools of the trade’, such as spades, forks, and shovels, as they were being put to use. With fellow gardeners, they discussed the importance of having the right gardening equipment to ensure a high standard of Work Health and Safety.

A Hands-On Work Tour

Jason was able to help out in the garden by digging a small compost trench, filling it with vegetable waste and dry matter. He then used the spade to chop the matter up. Charlotte added fertiliser before Jason filled in the hole. Throughout the visit, Jason would comment “I like gardening.”

Trainees enjoyed their lunch at the garden, before gathering some lettuce, and spinach to take home.

SLES trainers get to know and understand the unique work goals of every trainee. Trainers use their connections with the community and employers to incorporate training and work experience opportunities that suit the interests and goals of trainees.

Find out how SLES can help you explore your interests and prepare for work life.