Trainee of the Year Goes to Gerard Samson, Our Very Own ARCie!

Congratulations to our wonderful ARCie Gerard Samson who won the Trainee of the Year award at the Apprentice Employment Network 2018 NSW & ACT Group Training Awards! We’re very proud of Gerard for his hardworking, proactive nature and strong work ethic which got Gerard into a job with the host company of his business traineeship, Westpac!

Gerard Samson who won the 2018 Trainee of the Year!

ARC endeavours to get as many of our candidates into business traineeships as possible, to give them a bright future and a long-term career pathway. Gerard is just one exceptional example of the calibre of candidates ARC brings forth to our renowned host organisations as only the best will do.

If you’re interested in hiring trainees for your business or if you want to apply for a 12-month full time business traineeship with ARC, contact us on 02 8833 3999 today and let’s pave the way for your prosperous future today!

Preparing juniors for interviews

Most adults can honestly say that they still feel unprepared and nervous for a job interview. Imagine how teenagers feel when they don’t even know what to expect? Walking into your first interview can be absolutely daunting for most young people. Even worse yet, if they come away feeling like they weren’t prepared and failed, then it can really damage their confidence moving forward. In some cases this could stop them from applying for work in the fear of going through the terrifying process. Working in human resources I know that a majority of us would never have the intention to make someone feel failure when they leave an interview, but if we don’t prepare our young people then how will they succeed?

Parents, guardians, mentors, teachers and friends can offer words of wisdom and encouragement to do their best but what if I told you there are better ways to help them prepare? I currently give free mentoring to students at a local High School on behalf of ARC to try and better prepare our young people for interviews. We also run job readiness workshops to boost chances of employment for aspiring candidates. We interview high school graduates on a daily basis and offer advice that I hope to share with you in this blog so that we can continue to prepare our young people and give them the confidence to put their best foot forward.

Here are 10 easy steps that we often assume a junior will know:
1. What should I wear?
A company may tell a junior to wear business attire for their interview. We assume that they know what this means.

· Black pants/skirt and a collar shirt always looks smart for any position
· All clothing ironed
· Clean hair & well groomed
· No runs in stockings
· Do not wear extremely high, high heels or platform shoes
· If you wear nail polish (not required), use clear or a natural colour (no bright colours)

· Black pants & a pressed clean collared shirt
· Dark shoes (polished)
· Dark Socks
· Clean hair & well groomed
· No beards – moustaches are accepted, though keep neat & trimmed
· Minimal cologne
· Clean trimmed fingernails
· Empty pocket – no noisy coins
· All clothing ironed

2. When should I arrive?
15minutes early. You may have paperwork to fill out or need to find the exact location. No sooner and certainly do not run late. Make time for travel, parking and locating the door if you haven’t been there before. Phone ahead of your interview if unforeseen circumstances arise.

3. What should I take?
A printed copy of your resume, I.D and any certificates or relevant work information. Do not take food, chew gum or have odours lingering such as cigarettes or heavy cologne.

4. Be mindful of your body language.
Show interest, sit up straight, smile and make eye contact. Do not yawn, swing on your chair or tap your pen.

5. How do I behave?
Listen attentively. Turn off your phone and ask politely if they could repeat the question if you don’t understand.

6. How should I answer questions?
Be positive and get straight to the point with answers, but don’t just answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’ either. Don’t lie, it will be obvious, don’t use words you don’t understand and don’t speak negatively of a previous employer.

7. Who should I take with me for support?
Just yourself. If you do need someone with you for confidence, transport or safety reasons then ask them to wait outside.

8. What will they ask me?
10/10 times we will ask you what your strengths and weaknesses are. The BEST way to prepare for an interview is to know who you are as a worker and be able to explain that in a positive way. Also have your own questions ready such as “When do you think you will be making a decision?”

9. Should I provide examples?
Yes, if they ask you things like “explain a time when you showed a good eye for detail”. Explain the job, your role and the scenario you were in. Google top interview questions and right down your answer for as many as you can find. The better you know yourself the easier it will be.

10. Be your friendly self. The person interviewing you is human too, ask them how their day has been. Smile, breathe and give a firm hand shake on entrance and exit.

Any boss or recruiter can tell if you’re nervous, it’s how you handle yourself and your answers that matter the most. All 10 of the above are not followed on a regular basis with interviews we conduct and so we prepare our potential trainees before sending them to an interview with a host. Don’t set our young people up for failure, get them as equipped as possible but never assume that the above is simply common sense. It is learnt and therefore taught, by us. Teach them that sometimes they won’t be successful and that to learn from their mistakes means to prepare themselves better for next time. Finally my personal favourite to encourage our ARCies is that “you’re the expert of you” the person asking questions isn’t interrogating you, they just want to get to know more about you to determine if you’re the right fit and you are the only one that can give them the answers.

Jessica Sinclair

Interview Skills Prezi

Feel free to check out our complete presentation in order to get ready for a job interview

ARC’s Interview Skills Bootcamp

National Skills Wek (August 29 – September 4) is over for another year and ARC has presented to more than 1000 bright and ambitious Year 10, 11 & 12 students from 10 local schools.  ARC will continue holding free Interview Skills Boot camps for local Western Sydney schools in the coming months.

National Skills Week (August 29 – September 4) is over for another year but ARC will continue holding free Interview Skills Boot camps for local Western Sydney schools. Throughout August and the first week of September, ARC has presented to more than 1000 bright and ambitious Year 10, 11 & 12 students from 10 local schools.

Job interviews are a crucial part of life, no matter your chosen career path and the free boot camp incorporates why interviews are important, basic interview tips, what to do before, during and after a job interview, the impact that social media pages could have on a young person’s future and going through mock interviews.

“Thanking you, Kate, Justine and Jennifer! ARC has been extremely helpful and professional,” Joyce Choucair – Careers Adviser Bass Hill High School.

ARC makes career development easy, and we are proud to support our local community with this initiative.

“The boot camp provided a fantastic opportunity for the people undertaking the Logistics course with Wise Employment.  The people doing the logistics course are long term unemployed and all have disabilities.  The people participated in the boot camp to gain better understanding of how to prepare and participate in job interviews.  The boot camp provides more confidence through hands on experience.” – Steve Neirinckx, Trainer.

Ida Consalvo from Pendle Hill High was very happy with the boot camp, stating, “Thank you for coming to our school and running the boot camp on Interview skills.  The feedback from the group was very positive; students felt they had gained good tips and some practical skills to handle the job interview process a little more confidently. They particularly appreciated the notes you supplied on the day. Thank you once again for supporting our students.”

While 2016 is the first year of ARC’s boot camp, the feedback has been phenomenal and we will be running the Interview Skills Boot camp for various schools throughout the rest of the year.

A week in the life of a work experience student

Working at ARC Group for the past week has been a fulfilled 5 days with learning new skills, how an office runs, how to manage your time and many more activities that go on in a day-to-day office.

Waking up on the morning of my first day at work placement I was nervous but very excited, I had very little idea of what to expect from a training group and to be honest didn’t know what a training group was. Walking in to the reception at the ARC office for the first time I was very surprised as to how the office was compared to how I imagined it in my mind. I was imagining a dark office with chairs and desks and complete science, I was imagining no freedom and had the image if being glued to one chair for the week. What I saw was a light filled reception area, colourful office space and I did different tasks each day.

Being introduced to the office and everyone in the office was a great start to the day and made myself feel very welcome into the office.

Majority of my jobs here at ARC have included Data entry, Filling, Printing, Scanning, Labelling and sorting out papers for clients. Although these tasks took multiple hours, time and effort I enjoyed everything I was asked to do as it taught me new skills and new ways of being able to work efficiently in the office. All the staff in the office are very kind and approachable people, they were able to answer any questions I had and were very helpful when I was unsure of what to do.

This past week has been a great experience for me as I have learnt that working in an office is not as boring as expected by a lot of people, working in an office brings work and fun together as it is not just sitting at a desk writing up pages of documents it is being able to communicate with the people you work with and have a fun time when being there as well as doing the work you need to do, to any student that has the chance to come work at ARC should do so because it is a fun filled office with great and friendly staff always willing to help, and you will develop skills that will be useful to you in the future when looking for a job.

ARCies recognised for the NINTH year in a row!

ARC is thrilled that for the NINTH year running we have been recognised at the Regional NSW Training Awards. We have had finalists in the awards every year and are overjoyed to see our ARCies being honoured again this year.

Two of our ARCies (Alyce Keating and Moana Wilkinson) are finalists for the Central & Northern Sydney Region and Daniel Tangney-Melides is in the running for the Central Coast region. These finalists are very bright and ambitious young adults who have worked hard to get where they are today.

Alyce, Moana and Daniel are all extremely excited about being finalists for these awards and recognise that just being nominated for these awards is a sign that their host employers and trainers truly believe they are doing a great job and thriving in the working environment!

We are extremely proud of our ARCies and wish them the best of luck at the awards presentations on 23rd June and 1st July. Fingers crossed!

Each year the NSW Training Awards are conducted by the NSW Department of Education and Communities to recognise outstanding achievements in the vocational and training sector. These awards recognise and reward the accomplishment and performance of students, trainers, training organisations and large and small employers. With a combined attendance of over 4,000 guests at the regional Training Awards presentation dinners, the NSW Training Awards are the biggest celebration of VET in Australia.

ARC moves to George Street

We are pleased to announce that we recently moved to a new office location on April 18 2016. Our new office is Level 9, 79 George St Parramatta NSW 2150, where we will continue to hold various training courses (business, community services, retail, manufacturing, logistics and warehousing), interview potential ARCies and meet our clients. This relocation is a result of continued business growth and an increase in staff. Our new premises are a short walk from the train station and local landmarks, retaining our commitment to the city of Parramatta and maintaining a central location on which to support our growing list of clients.

Our office numbers have remained the same – 1300 799 793.

Our new, larger office was professionally designed and constructed by Jeff Grimshaw and his team from CODA Commercial Interiors.

Should you have any questions on our relocation, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to seeing and serving you at our new spacious, light filled surroundings.

ARC Trainee using his disability to help others

Timothy Ragg has Cerebral Palsy and for years he has considered his disability a disadvantage. Now working full time as a Disability Support worker, Tim isn’t letting his disability hold him back any longer and is using it as an advantage to help others.

Tim completed his Certificate III in Disability with ARC in 2015 and initially struggled to find work, finding that lack of experience is a big road block to gaining employment. He didn’t want to go back to working part time as a chef, he’d felt discrimination in the hospitality industry and knew he had to persevere. Eventually he was given a second chance by WALCA (Work and Leisure Centre for Adults) after his life experience with his own disability was recognised.

“I never thought I would actually use my disability as a job.”

On a daily basis, Tim assists other people with a broad range of disabilities. He helps them with their needs and facilitates their skill development so they can enjoy a better quality of life.

“ARC Group was always there for me, I could call or text all the time and they were there for me no matter what. Rachael and the rest of the ARC Team gave me an amazing opportunity and I can’t thank them enough,” Tim said.

“The best moment of the course was throwing paper darts around the classroom. Nadime, my trainer was brilliant and went above and beyond in the delivery of the course. She shared stories from her own life experience working in the industry and explained things in depth for us which made a real difference’, Tim said.

Where to now? Tim plans to study his Certificate IV in Disability with ARC and would like to progress to a higher role as a Disability Needs Assessor. He loves his job and the training he received has given him a deeper grasp of the work he is doing.

“Knowing you can come to work and make someone’s life better makes it all worth it.”

Tim has stayed in touch with his fellow students and is quite a spiritual man. He would like to thank God, his wife, Lynette and Lorna from WALCA and ARC for helping him get to where he is today.

WALCA works with clients who have severe autism and physical and mental disabilities, the work is demanding and Tim loves it, stating, “Knowing you can come to work and make someone’s life better makes it all worth it.”

“I never thought I would actually use my disability as a job. I’d grown up with food and thought that was my passion. The training I did with ARC wasn’t the start of a new career; it was just part of the process.

ARC walks for social inclusion

ARC employees took a step towards social inclusion this week by walking through Parramatta with over 1,000 members of the community to participate in Northcott’s annual ‘Walk With Me” event.

Northcott is one of Australia’s leading organisations providing programs and services for disabled children and adults, and their families. Walk with Me is a short walk for some, and a real challenge for others and is an opportunity to support and celebrate the diversity within our community in an inclusive and festive environment.

ARC employees took part to show our support for Northcott and the wonderful work they do for people with disabilities.

ARC Business Development Manager, Rachael Northcott stated, “It was so amazing to see everyone, abled and disabled taking part in such a fantastic event, having bucket loads of fun and participating as one.”

This event recognises the inspirational attitudes and achievements of the 20% of our population who have a disability. ARC are incredibly proud to support Northcott and the wonderful work they do.We were lucky enough to hear Ellie Cole, Walk With Me ambassador and Paralympian, talk about her experience in professional sports with a disability, as well as her work with Northcott. At the end of the walk, Australian Idol Winners, Wes Carr and Damien Leith performed for the crowd.

ARC recognises the extent of the challenges that disabled people face. We offer Certificate III in Disability (CHC30408) and Certificate IV in Disability (CHC40312). These qualifications have a multitude of potential career outcomes, including disability support worker, care assistant, social educator and many more.

ARCie wins 2015 Trainee of the Year

One of ARC Group’s trainees, Amy Adams, won Trainee of the Year at the 2015 Western Sydney Training Awards.

Amy, hosted by NECA Group Training, will now be considered for the NSW Trainee of the Year Award which will be announced in September.

After having finalists in the regional awards for eight years running, ARC Group’s odds of having a winning trainee were high this year with three of the eight regional finalists being ARCies (ARC Group Trainees).

Amy Adams, along with Emily Jennings (hosted by Thinking Ergonomix) and Madison Dodds (hosted at ARC Group) attended the presentation at Rooty Hill RSL Club on Thursday 18th June.

Cameron Ryan, CEO of ARC Group said “We are very proud of these young ladies, they have all worked extremely hard during their traineeships. Their positive attitudes and strong work ethic have served them well with each of their host employers offering them full time roles at the completion of their traineeship.”

ARC Group loves it when ARCies are recognised for their achievements and accomplishments in their day to day jobs. Making career development easy is something ARC Group strives for. The support the host employers provide to their trainees makes all the difference in starting a successful career.

For further information on becoming a trainee click here or for information on hosting a trainee click here or call 1300 799 733.