Keeping jobseekers on the road ahead

Wheels in Motion mentors Amy Gogoll, Donna Cowan and Kathy Laidlaw are committed to help young drivers continue moving towards getting their licences. Photo: Jarrad Delaney 401149_01
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A Clare-based program is aiming to address a serious hurdle for young people in regional areas, getting enough driving hours to get a full licence.

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Wheels in Motion began in Clare earlier this year, delivered through Employment Directions, with local volunteers putting their hands up to be mentors for local L-plater drivers.

The not-for-profit program has already seen at least eight L-platers learn off of mentors, and gain the 75 driving hours required to sit for a probationary licence.

Coordinator Christine Underdown said this program was of great benefit, particularly to disadvantaged young people who might not be in a position to get the hours required.

She said without a licence, gaining access to employment and further education opportunities becomes more difficult.

“Even to do a barista course outside of Clare, you need your licence,” she said.

“For participants, the primary reason they join the program is to get a licence so they can work or access further education.

“They want to be independent and active members of the community, and they can’t do that if they don’t drive.”

The program has been supported by local businesses and organisations, including sponsorship from Clare Lions Club.

The program is also supported by Mid North Quality Driving School, with participants having one lesson with an instructor before they get into the car with a mentor.

On top of getting the hours they need, there is the added social benefit from doing the hours alongside local mentors.

Amy Gogoll, Kathy Laidlaw and Donna Cowan are three of the program’s mentors and shared why they enjoyed being a part of it.

“It’s knowing you’re helping a young person to succeed and reach their goals,” Amy said.

Kathy said she loved giving something back to the community, and also loved driving.

While the program has already provided benefits for participants, there is the hope to make it grow even further, but it would require more people to get involved as mentors, as well as support and sponsorship from the community.

Christine said the Clare Valley, and Australia continued to experience a skill shortage and it was important to help young people access jobs and further education opportunities.

“The next step is to increase participants and mentors, as the more mentors we get the more participants we can provide for,” she said.

Mentors will require certain things, including a full licence without suspension for a minimum of two years, a Working with Children Check and completing an induction session.

People can find out more or sign up to be a mentor by emailing Christina on

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