Young people looking for careers in the automotive industry have a new pathway to success.

Concern Australia’s Hand Brake Turn program, which acts as a stepping stone into the industry, is returning to Brimbank.

Concern Australia communications manager Jo Thitchener said the move was a concerted effort to reconnect with the west.

“We were based in Brimbank a few years ago, but moved away,” she said.

“We know this is an area of large disadvantage and unemployment and really want to reconnect with the area and offer people some more opportunities.”

The course runs for seven weeks and offers a flexible learning environment.

“It’s a bit of a taster program,” Ms Thitchener said. “It runs from Tuesday through Thursday each week, which gives young people the opportunity to get work experience on the other days.”

Ms Thitchener said the program was a proven winner.

“We have clients referred to us from the Department of Justice and the Department of Human Services, so we’re flexible and like to make it open and available for anyone who can come along,” she said.

“We’ve been running 20 years and had nearly 10,000 students come through our ranks, many of whom have gone on to become successful in the automotive industry.

“It’s really made a difference to a lot of lives – one former student said, ‘I’ve gone from stealing cars to fixing them’.”

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