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BREEB board member, Steve Brown with MD Stephen Frost. BREEB board member, Steve Brown with MD Stephen Frost.
18 October 2015 Posted by 


Education provider links with community

THE Mayor of Blacktown, Member for Riverstone, business, school and community representatives together with past and present students and clients have helped BREED celebrate its 21st anniversary of Incorporation.

An initiative of the local community, BREED has adopted the mantra that education leads to employment that in turn generates economic development.

It is a continuous cycle, as the economy grows more people are employed. BREED prides itself in providing experiences and opportunities that strengthen a person’s education and employment opportunity.

Initially BREED undertook considerable research consulting with local residents, businesses, education providers, trade unions, community groups and government agencies.

BREED released various reports and recommendations, including:
•    Literacy, Numeracy and Employment Skills Audit.
•    Training Needs Analysis.
•    Small Business Incubator Feasibility Study.
•    Economic Development Strategy, and a
•    Tourism and Hospitality Strategic Plan.

Stephen Frost, Managing Director of BREED said: “The questions were asked, what is going to happen after all this research, how are the recommendations going to be implemented?”

Thus, the decision was made to Incorporate BREED as a community managed not for profit organisation.

“This way BREED could apply for funding to action the recommendations and continue to work in with the community to put in place education, employment and economic development opportunities.”

One of the early initiatives, called Operation Job Hunt, was to gather a group of long term unemployed people and provide them with support, motivation and job seeking skills. They then went out cold calling factories, offices, shopping centres and industrial estates. Over a two-week period, this exercise alone succeeded in 800 new jobs being offered.

This initiative was well received by the Federal Government, resulting in funding for a much larger program called West Jobs. Targeting businesses from Katoomba to Homebush, over 8,500 new jobs were offered over the six-week campaign.

BREED was successful in obtaining a grant to refurbish a surplus TAFE building into a “Small Business Incubator”.

Trading as the BREED Business Centre, it is essentially a facility that provides a physical location for new and expanding businesses to operate from with the benefits of using shared facilities, reception and administration support, all in an encouraging and friendly environment with likeminded people.

“This has been a great success story” Mr Frost said. “Recognised as Australian Business Centre of the Year, the Centre has assisted more than 300 businesses start and expand, generating more than 1,000 jobs with these businesses directly contributing more than $7M back into the local community”.

You cannot have employment and economic development without young people being “job ready” when they leave school.

Since 1999, BREED has been working with schools and TAFE, linking students studying vocational subjects as part of their Higher School Certificate with employers.

“By undertaking industry specific structured work placements, students are able to practice in industry the theory they have learnt in the classroom. They also get to develop their employability skills and use equipment and processes that are not available in a classroom setting”, Mr Frost said.

Over the years, BREED has worked with more than 3,000 employers who have placed in excess of 45,000 students.

“These employers provide an invaluable contribution to the student’s work place learning. Conservatively, the businesses have provided “in-kind” contributions in excess of $27M in supervision and material costs alone”.

BREED builds partnerships within the community. By working with businesses and establishing trusted relationships, BREED is able to enlist their support to assist youth.

“It is not only those students studying vocational subjects; we also work with youth disengaging from school and run Employment Boot Camps. By linking young people with industry mentors, it assists them to refocus on their future and to get a better understanding of the relevance of education. It can also demonstrate alternative career pathways they may not have thought of”.

Whilst some of BREED’s programs operate on a fee for service basis, BREED would not have delivered its outcomes without funding and support from the Federal, State and Local governments, grants from Blacktown Workers Club, the NRMA, and Australia Post. Individual schools, TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute and the University of Western Sydney have also been major supporters over the years.

21 Years is a significant milestone for any organisation. Mr Frost credits BREED’s success to the generous contribution made by the Board, the dedication of the BREED team driving the individual programs and the enormous support of the individual businesses and the local community who have so generously given their support.

For more information visit BREED’s website www.breed.org.au.


Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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