Who is it for?
This is a free programme for 16-25 year olds who require employment support.
They do not necessarily need to be interested in horticulture. They need to be interested in
- developing their strengths in employment plus a place to gain work experience,
- job seeking and
- interview support, CV and cover letter writing skills as well as gaining
- a reference.
Cultivate is an outside working environment so this is important to understand.
The duration of the internship depends on the individual's needs.
We work hard to maintain engagement post-transition as retention in employment is equally important. So, when an Intern leaves Cultivate for a job, we encourage continued engagement for continued support - things can go wrong and we help them navigate the best options for that situation.
If it doesn't work out, we discuss why it didn't work, lessons learnt and getting back into job searching and maintaining positive work habits between jobs.
A young person may self-refer or be referred by a school, Alternative Education Provider, Agency, Organisation, NGO.
For referrals with high needs or concerning tendencies towards violence, we would need to know this at inception to create safety plans to maintain a healthy and safe environment for both the individual and the other people on the farm.
The first visit we ask for a support person to come with the individual (or if you are a self-referral you may want to bring a friend). This may be required until they feel comfortable or able to come alone as they develop a positive relationship with the Cultivate Staff.
Each internship starts with a two-week trial for both the individual to learn about the work environment and for staff to identify the fit of the programme with the individual. If after these two weeks they are interested in continuing, we can then discuss options for potential employment. Some young person who isn’t able to be employed can still do an internship.
We then work through an internship agreement which is basically an employment contract that aims to train the young person with understanding contracts, what their rights are and what to be aware of when signing them.
We are open for our interns Monday - Thursday 8-4pm. Within this time frame, we can offer a range of programme structures. At one end of the spectrum, a young person may come for an hour or two per week. This is less of a structured programme but the aim is still for them to connect with the community and to work towards gaining employability skills. Other interns may come 2/3 days per week, or, at the other end of the spectrum, we have interns who work 30 hours per week 8-4pm, rain, hail and sun!
During a young person’s internship time we have weekly feedback sessions about their strengths, the strengths they want to gain, how they can develop these day to day and who can support them with these inside and outside Cultivate.
In this, we also document the skills seen by staff that relate to both employability skills and skills for horticulture. These are added to their CVs.
We also support the individual around any mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing with trained staff, especially when life happens and starts to interrupt work and well-being.
As we aim for overall well-being and support, we provide one lunch per week and support our interns with fresh produce twice a week.
We provide an alcohol-, drug- and smoke-free space - however, there is a space for smoking outside of the boundaries of each farm.