YOUTH work experience program the Troublesmiths has utilised a State Government lifeline to open its first retail shopfront at 106 Murray Street in Hobart’s CBD.
Troublesmiths is managed by not-for-profit Impact Communities and has successfully helped young Tasmanians gain work experience and skills for more than two years.
Significant non-vocational achievements such as confidence and social integration are also significant bonus outcomes of the program.
“The store provides a stable and safe space for our volunteers, who are all young local jobseekers, to develop consistent work habits, and really showcase their skills to the public and employers alike,” Impact Communities manager Mark Boonstra said.
“We are incredibly grateful to the State Government and Workskills, both of which provided emergency financial support when our last grant funding expired.”
Mr Boonstra said the Federal Government, which previously funded Troublesmiths, was unable to provide the necessary funds to keep the program going long-term.
“The Troublesmiths will continue to operate to the best of its abilities until 31 October, with another 24 young people set to complete the program between now and then,” he said.
To provide the best experience possible in what looks to be the final months of the program, Impact Communities is hoping that Hobart locals, tourists, and local employers will frequent the store to give opportunities for the Troublesmiths to engage with customers and practice their sales skills.
“All of the products are handmade on site by the Troublesmiths, with the majority of items made with natural ingredients,” Mr Boonstra said.
The shopfront is now open, with full stock of handmade soaps, massage oil, beard oil, crochet homewares, candles and other body products and giftware.
Opening hours are 9am–5pm Monday to Friday, and 11am–2.30pm Saturdays.
Caption: Troublesmiths participants, from left, Brayden Price, Ellie Ransom and Thanachot Hesketh outside the new store.