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Empowering young people through education and training.

13 April 2023

Community services
Did you know that St John of God Horizon House provides support for young people aged 16-22 who are experiencing, or at risk of homelessness? It’s more than just a roof over their head - our teams work with young people to understand who they are and what they want to do.
Dana Anderson, Manager Youth Services WA, is passionate about vocational education and training and how they can empower our young people and set them on a path to success. We caught up with Dana to learn more. 

What is vocational educational?

“Vocational education is skills-based training designed to help students develop practical and job-specific knowledge, experience and skills.

For young people in our Horizon House program, vocational education can help prepare students for the world of work and is a common pathway to finding their first job. 

It also empowers young people to build self-confidence, form new friendships and can be a doorway to higher education in a university setting for students who didn’t graduate high school. Aside from this, we see young people reporting a stronger sense of purpose when accessing education opportunities.” 

What training and education opportunities are provided to young people in the Horizon House program? 

“When a young person enters the program, one of our Support Coordinators will spend time getting to know them and understanding their goals. Together, a shared action plan is developed enabling Support Coordinators to show the young person they are committed to helping them achieve their goals. 

Accessing education, training and employment opportunities are common goals for our young people and our Support Coordinators can help in many ways depending on individual needs. For example, a young person may be guided through the process of submitting a TAFE application, updating or creating a resume, contacting potential employers, and even providing transport for trial shifts or for study where necessary.  

Young people are supported at their own pace to gain relevant skills and training in order to obtain employment and work towards their goal to live independently.” 

How have you seen education and training opportunities help a young person in the Horizon House program towards independent living, or reaching a different milestone? 

“One of the young people in our program is currently completing a certificate 4 in Youth Work saying they were inspired by the support they received through the program and what they’ve gained through it. They chose to study youth work so they can help other young people and share their own experience to highlight that things can change with the right support.

Another young person has recently transitioned from the program into shared accommodation while they complete a traineeship with a local hospitality business. This is an excellent outcome for the young person who is training on the job while they learn, setting themselves up with the skills to maintain ongoing employment. 

Find out more about St John of God Horizon House program.

Dana Anderson, Manager Youth Services WA
Dana Anderson - Horizon House Manager, Youth Services WA
Dana is our Manager Youth Services WA, leading the delivery of our Horizon House program across the state. Horizon House provides homes, care and support for young people aged 16-22 who are experiencing, or at risk of homelessness.  
Dana brings a wealth of experience from within the youth sector with over 30 years’ experience in youth work and vocational education. 
Dana is committed to working with our WA Horizon House teams to support them in the outstanding work that do, ensuring our clients always remain at the centre of our program.