VERTO and Calare Academy of Road Safety are helping job seekers in Blayney and the Central West get a driver’s licence through a program that is designed to address a significant barrier to entering the workforce.

The Keys 2 Work program has been established to help job seekers access driving lessons and complete the required hours to get a driver’s licence.

VERTO Employment Services Team Leader, Annie Crasti, revealed the Keys 2 Work program was developed in response to emerging trends in Blayney’s labour market. VERTO’s internal data shows that 23 per cent of job seekers in Blayney don’t have a licence.

“A critical part of succeeding at an interview or a new job is being able to travel to and from work easily - it’s so important our clients can travel safely to training, interviews or to start a new job or apprenticeship,” Ms Crasti said.

“Blayney is a small town and having a licence enables our clients to drive a short distance to Orange or Bathurst for employment or training opportunities. It really is a game changer.”

The Keys 2 Work program includes a range of options tailored to the client’s driving ability and experience, including lessons by the hour or packages of 5-10 lessons. It also includes the delivery of a Safe Driver’s Course with the PCYC. The program is funded through the Australian Government’s jobactive program.

So far, the Keys 2 Work program has helped six VERTO Blayney clients access increased support, and organisation CEO Ron Maxwell was full of praise for the program.

“Helping job seekers get a driver’s licence increases their independence and mobility, and boosts not only their confidence, but most importantly their prospects of obtaining meaningful employment,” Mr Maxwell said.

“Driving lessons in Australia can be cost prohibitive for many job seekers, generally around $70 an hour. So if we can help take away that burden and better position local job seekers, it can only be a good thing.”

For more information on the Keys 2 Work program, or how VERTO can assist you on your employment journey, phone 1300 4 VERTO (1300 483 786) or visit www.verto.org.au.