A LICENCE to drive is vital to improved chances of gaining employment in a region as geographically spread out as the Shoalhaven.
That is a reality to be addressed by a pilot program that helps unemployed people get their licence.
The On The Road At Last project uses federal government funds, funnelled through the Red Cross, to employ a co-ordinator.
The co-ordinator will oversee 30 to 60 mentor drivers who will help 30 job seekers to complete their 120 hours of supervised driving to gain their P-plates.
Gaining a licence removes one large obstacle for young people looking for work.
Local employment co-ordinator Jane Robinson has set a target to license 30 job seekers over six months.
The program needs between 30 and 60 driving mentors.
“Driving mentors must be responsible adults with good driving records who pass police checks. They will be offered mentor driver preparation and training as well as recognition for their contribution to the project,” she said.
Nowra TAFE student Kirra Menhennett is one of the first participants to be accepted.
The 19-year-old, who lives in Worrigee, knows the importance of holding a licence for securing a job.
“There is minimal work in this area as it is so you have to be willing and able to travel to find a job,” she said.
“I have been knocked back for a few jobs because I didn’t have a licence.
“I have been living out of home for a while, and 120 hours of supervised driving is a lot to ask of people.
“This training is a good opportunity for everyone trying to get a licence, especially if you are like me and can’t afford driving lessons,” she said.
Young unlicenced people who are looking for work should contact their employment service provider to apply for a position in the On The Road At Last program.