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Students start an exciting new stage of their careers through WESP

Published: 02 Jul 2021

CIT has celebrated the achievements of its latest cohort of the Work Experience Support Program (WESP), as students complete the first stage of their training.

CIT's Business Department delivers WESP in collaboration with the ACT Government's Community Services Directorate (CSD). This program supports migrants and asylum seekers gain office and job skills and Australian workplace experience to improve their chances in the job market.

Over four weeks, applicants train to improve their IT, writing, office administration, communication and work-ready skills before embarking on an eight-week work placement in the ACT Government.

Current WESP students have taken part in a wide range of work experience opportunities including in health, transport, city services and learning and development.

Faiza Ambreen, who completed her placement with Transport Canberra and City Services, assisted with data entry for training sessions and courses for Transport Canberra staff. "WESP gives skilled migrants experience of ACT government work and a chance to polish their professional skills. It's a very beneficial program," she said.

Basel Alsoleman's placement was with CIT where he helped students with enrolments at an information session. "The program is one of my first steps for settlement in Australia and has really improved my communication skills."

Muataz Ajaj completed a placement with the ACT Health Directorate and assisted with health inspections of swimming pools, pharmacies and childcare centres. "WESP has given me local experience to learn about Australian work requirements."

One former WESP student, CIT Business teacher Ema Fazlic, fondly recalls her time studying through the program. "I started with the WESP program in 2017 after I moved to Australia from Singapore. I did my placement at CIT and never looked back," Ema said.

Ema became a full-time teacher at CIT in 2020. Now she encourages others to think about studying through the WESP program. "I make it my job to help others as a way of giving back through CIT."

Another WESP success story is Manar Al Shehadeh, who also completed the program in 2017. Manar is now working in CSD with ACT Government and she is responsible for the placement of WESP participants in government offices.

Coming back full circle to CSD, Manar says the WESP program was a great opportunity for her. "The four weeks' study at CIT was a fantastic way to learn more, but also to refresh your skills. It is also great to learn about working in government. The placements give you a lot of experience," Manar said.

Find out more about the WESP program.