Social enterprise builds on firm foundations with top award

By Wendy Shaw

An innovative Catholic building and construction social enterprise has won a prestigious award.

St Joseph Affordable Homes, in partnership with Build Up Tassie and Centacare Evolve Housing, won the industry collaboration of the year award at the 2023 Tasmanian Training Awards.

It was for exemplary collaboration between employers and industry, and as a provider of nationally recognised training.

St Joseph Affordable Homes CEO Ben Wilson was delighted with the award.

“It is fantastic to be recognised for our training program,” he said.

“We wish to thank our team, partners and all those who work tirelessly in collaboration with St Joseph Affordable Homes to create meaningful education and employment outcomes for young Tasmanians with barriers to employment.”

St Joseph Affordable Homes also congratulated apprentice plumber Connor Klemke, a finalist in the equity apprentice/trainee of the year section. This award is for students who have overcome barriers and/or disadvantage to achieve vocational education and training (VET) qualifications.

“Connor was in the first round of Build Up Tassie participants to be offered apprenticeships with St Joseph Affordable Homes,” Mr Wilson added.

“Three years on, we couldn’t be more proud of what Connor has achieved personally and professionally.”

St Joseph Affordable Homes was set up in 2020 to improve life and employment outcomes for young Tasmanians.

An initiative of the Archdiocese of Hobart, it is delivering a training and employment program, including an in-house apprenticeship scheme.

It uses the social and affordable house building programs of Centacare Evolve Housing, CatholicCare and other aligned organisations to provide employment, including trade apprenticeships.

As well, it offers coaching, mentoring and wellbeing support to apprentices and qualified tradespeople in partnership with Build Up Tassie.

In its first three years, St Joseph Affordable Homes built 269 homes and now employs 39 apprentices and trainees across nine trades.

St Joseph Affordable Homes’ patron saint is St Joseph.

Swinburne University of Technology sponsored the industry collaboration of the year award.

Tags: Archdiocese, News