01 March, 2011

Why we employ young people

Jacob and Jamie in the kitchen
Back in the Age of Sail, the time of Napoleon and Wellington, boys as young as 15 were Lieutenants in the army and navy. 15 was considered an age of responsibility and the young person was expected to contribute to their family and society around them.
Even going back to the 1960s, young people were regularly employed in many businesses formally as apprentices or trainees, or informally as paperboys, lawn mowing, cleaning, etc. This utilisation of the talents of young people was a benefit to themselves, their families and society as a whole.
That is why we like employing young people at the Wingello Village Store. Every young person employed takes part in our immersive training program, learning all the facets of our rather diverse little shop. Learning about the businesses of Retail, Cafe, Restaurant, Post Office and handling all the goods and services we provide gives a good start to any resume.
If they work in a full time position, we then enrol them in an official traineeship which provides nationally recognised TAFE equivalent certification. They also are provided with formal food safety certifications through registered training organisations.
The village also benefits from having young people working in the store. Often there is friction between generations and much of it is caused by the lack of contact the generations have in day to day settings. The opportunity for young people to interact with the village and for all villagers to meet young people in a helpful environment provides great benefits.
Eric weighing Zach and confirming correct postage
A further benefit is the general youthful playfulness and joy of life. The store - and village - are happier places with young people having a somewhere to utilise their skills and share their lives in the midst of village life. There are few places where young people have the opportunity to be such an integral part of a small community.
We are providing a structure whereby young people of the village can learn useful skills, get paid doing it and participate productively in village life.
Being young, they will eventually move on to other employment and we envisage a steady flow of young people working in the store. The more the shop is patronised by local villagers the more we will employ locals.
By shopping locally, the whole village benefits in many ways.

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