The Long Game

the-long-game-bannerWe have recently developed a new initiative; a flexible community based model designed to meet the modern workforce development needs of the Wheatbelt.

For your community

The Long Game creates local partnerships bringing together the local sports community, local employers, and local service providers to support and strengthen our communities.

Attracting and retaining young workers and entry level jobseekers into regional towns is an ongoing challenge for the whole community. The very factors which inhibit the attraction into towns often also contribute to migration out of towns and regions, with many, particularly in the 16-29 year age bracket leaving in pursuit of a wider range of employment and training prospects.

And for many regional towns, sporting clubs and associations provide vital social and sporting services and opportunities and are a vital part of the fabric of the region. Currently many clubs need to pay drive-in drive-out players just to field a team, and that money leaves town with those players. For every $1 paid for with club funds and local fundraising, the town is potentially losing up to $4 when that investment leaves town again.

The Long Game targets the challenges of both attracting and retaining skilled workers in towns and regions by providing meaningful career opportunities together with the opportunity to play country football.

By retaining the player within the district the benefits to your community also include:

  • The money the club/district pays is reinvested in local businesses and service providers.
  • Families and partner relocation brings other skills to the region.
  • For players with young families, a boost to the local school populations.

Once qualified, participants will have established roots in the community and this can encourage them to remain in the region on a permanent basis, adding to the local skilled labour market or as a potential new local business owner.

For your business

Directions is a long standing local business so we understand only too well the challenges for Wheatbelt businesses. We have developed The Long Game as an innovative solution to help solve some of these issues.

Many of you have difficulty recruiting entry level workers due to the limited local labour market and limited local career pathway options in many occupations and industries.

And in particular we know many of you struggle with the ability to guarantee sufficient hours for ongoing or full time employment. This has limited the ability for many of you to grow skills in your businesses and benefit from apprenticeships and traineeships.

Through The Long Game program, the apprentice/trainee can be hosted by one entity, for example, an Automotive Technician (Heavy Agriculture Equipment) apprenticeship hosted at the local equipment servicing business. The full apprenticeship can be undertaken in the one business, as most people have experienced them, but there are alternatives.

The apprentice/trainee can also be hosted under a ‘shared’ arrangement where more than one business can be involved, for example a trainee under taking a Certificate in Agriculture could work with two or more farm operators.  The ‘hosting group’ would collectively provide the equivalent of full time hours for the trainee.

This arrangement would work particularly well for the farmers that would not otherwise have sufficient work for a fulltime position but could provide work and training for someone on a part-time basis.

The hosting group could also be made up of a variety of complementary businesses or organisations including other local businesses or even the local council.

Directions has the flexibility to recruit and manage the apprentice/trainee in a manner tailored to better suits the needs of each business, be it farmers, businesses large and small, and associations and clubs, and each placement.

The program also entails participants committing to play country football for local clubs. We know a lot of Wheatbelt businesses also sponsor and/or support their local football clubs, either directly or indirectly. The Long Game means the money you contribute would no longer be needed for paid drive-in/drive-out players and could instead be reinvested in the town at their discretion, in providing initial accommodation or redirected towards the cost of the trainee or apprentice.

It’s a win-win. Your business builds skills, attracting and retaining people into our towns, especially young people, which in turn boosts the regional labour market, and local money stay in town and gets spent at local businesses like yours.

For yourself

Fancy playing for one of our great country WA football clubs and undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship program at the same time?

The Long Game a Direction initiative provides opportunities for enthusiastic individuals who would would like to work, play, and live in the beautiful WA Wheatbelt region.

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from interested young people and ‘mature age’ people (21 years and over).

Not only will you get to play football, you will be earning and training towards a nationally recognised qualification via an apprenticeship or traineeship. We are working with employers in a range of industries so please specify the trade or occupation(s) you are interested in.

Register your interest and upload a copy of your resumé or CV via the form on the right. Please include the details of your football playing experience.

Adding value by doing it differently

Directions is committed to doing it better than other GTOs and as a local, not-for-profit community organisation, we have over 27 years of experience supporting the Wheatbelt. Here are just some of the ways we are different…

  • Each Directions Consultant has a maximum case load of only 50 apprentices and trainees. This enables a more hands-on, attentive service for the host company and the apprentice/trainee. Other GTOs often have a ratio in excess of 100:1.
  • Frequent visits and better availability mean we identify issues more promptly and are on hand to provide advice, support and information when it is needed.
  • Directions recruits to find the best apprentices and trainees. We have a robust selection process that screens all candidates for best fit. With the final choice made with the Host Company we ensure better completion and retention rates and better quality outcomes…and this is why we take the time to do it right.
  • We also seek the best host employers. We look to build long term relationships with quality employers and offer a far more comprehensive, personal service than others.
  • Directions is committed to assisting to helping develop safer workplaces through supporting specific safety programs designed for the rural sectors and associated industries.

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