Graduates ready to dive into the deep end

10 graduates from a lifesaving course funded by the Australian Government have donned caps and pledged to dive into the deep end and save lives.

Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis and Member for Chifley Ed Husic attended a graduation for 10 participants in the Flexible Funding Pool Lifeguard course at Emerton Leisure Centre in Blacktown today.

Ms Ellis said the Government was funding a further 10 places on the back of the program’s early successes, taking the total to 40.

“With construction of Wet and Wild Leisure Park at Eastern Creek we know that there will be a high demand for lifeguards and staff with customer service skills,” she said.

“The 10 graduates of the Australian Government’s Lifeguard Training Flexible Funding Pool Project now have the skills to compete for positions in an industry that will be looking for staff this year in Sydney’s west.”

The Lifeguard Training Flexible Funding Pool Project is being delivered through the Blacktown City Council and Emerton Leisure Centre. Four groups of 10 participants are being trained with the necessary industry qualifications to work as pool lifeguards in aquatic centres across New South Wales.

Mr Husic said it was a great example of how a community can work together to create innovative training solutions that will help local businesses employ local people.

“I congratulate Local Employment Coordinator Narelle Wheatland who has been working with stakeholders throughout the Blacktown area to develop and tailor the project for local job seekers,” he said.

The Australian Government’s Flexible Funding Pool is a $20 million initiative to support the work of the Local Employment Coordinators in 20 Priority Employment Areas.