Workskil Australia has teamed up with Kangaroo Island locals to drive a new bushfire recovery initiative.
The not-for-profit employment services organisation has contracted Dudley Peninsula resident Steve Berzel to work with a team of volunteers to provide on-site assistance to Kangaroo Island residents affected by the recent fires.
Mr Berzel has been engaged to supervise Workskil Australia's mobile Kangaroo Island Bushfire Clean-up Project.
He will be joined by local volunteers over the next 26 weeks working in the community to help property owners clear damage, among other tasks.
"The Kangaroo Island community has taken a bad hit," he said.
"Although I'm fortunate to live in a region of KI not directly affected, almost everybody knows of someone impacted by the bushfires to a various degree. In the almost thirty years since living on the Island, I can't recall any other time when morale has been this low.
"The help already provided to the community by the Australian Defence Force and various charity volunteers has been exceptional. This includes generous support from the public with donations to the Mayoral Bushfire Recovery Fund.
"I'm proud to be involved in the Kangaroo Island Bushfire Clean-up Project managed by Workskil Australia and look forward to working alongside a team of skilled volunteers, in collaboration with the Recovery Centre, to assist property owners in any way possible."
Workskil Australia chief executive Nicole Dwyer said 10 volunteers had already signed up to lend a hand, with 20 in total expected to be involved over the duration of the mobile clean-up program.
"The volunteers are local job seekers keen to be involved in community service," she said.
"By providing much needed support to locals impacted by fire, we hope our job seeker volunteers can also learn new skills and make contacts to assist with future careers."
As the only employment services provider on the island, Workskil Australia helps local job seekers become work ready and find employment with businesses across a range of industries.
The mobile support volunteers are all registered with Workskil Australia under the Federal Government funded JobActive program.
The bushfire clean-up project is one of a number of initiatives Workskil Australia is involved with on Kangaroo Island.
The organisation has recently sourced a Field Operations Manager for the RSPCA's bushfire recovery efforts while it has also advertised for an additional employment services consultant at the Workskil Australia KI office to meet increasing demand for its services.
"Our executive team visited Kangaroo Island to meet with our hardworking local employment consultant Monique and talk with other members of the community," Ms Dwyer said.
"It's been important to see firsthand how the fire has impacted the lives of so many people on the Island and thereby identify how we can best assist with the recovery.
"It's very pleasing to see initiatives like the bushfire clean-up program get underway. At the same time we continue to work closely with local job seekers to help them find fulfilling employment and access support services which are in higher demand since the fires."
For further information please contact Workskil Australia on 8566 6102.