This is a free programme for 16-25 year olds who require employment support. They do not necessarily need to be interested in horticulture but 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 a reference. It is an outside working environment so this is important to understand.
The duration of the internship depends on the individuals needs where 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. 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 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 YP who aren’t able to be employed can still do an Internship. Produce is also given to our Interns as well as one lunch per week.
We 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.
During their 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. As life happens and can interrupt work we also support the individual around any mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing with trained staff. For some 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.
We provide an alcohol, drug and smoke free space - there is a space for smoking outside of the boundaries of each farm.
We are open for our Interns Monday - Thursday 8-4pm.
The opportunity at one end of the spectrum is where a young person may come for an hour or two per week - this is less of a structured programme but the aim is for them to connect with the community and are working towards gaining employability skills. Others may come 2/3 days per week. At the other end of the spectrum we have Interns who work 30 hours per week 8-4pm, rain, hail and sun!