How MiHaven is shaping the future

For many young people finding the right career path can be a daunting task. MiHaven offer young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders career pathways in the warehouse, construction and retail industry.

MiHaven specialises in design and construction solutions and their key area of focus is working with Indigenous communities to support housing and infrastructure needs in remote areas.

But more than that they create opportunities and provide support and care for many young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school leavers and long-term jobseekers.

The company was founded in 2011 by a professional husband and wife team James and Sarah Mort, who have 30 years of experience in the construction and property development industry.

As a licensed builder, James has a passion for design and developing concepts for innovative sustainable houses. Sarah is a highly experience Town Planner and has an extensive skill base in project management.

“We like to see positive social outcomes for our trainees that go through our program,” says Sarah.

The MiLife Change Program has engaged a group of 30 disadvantaged long-term Indigenous jobseekers and school leavers to undertake blended accredited training programs. Transferable employment skills are developed to maximise employment opportunities in the Cairns region meeting current and future workforce industry needs.

The program tackles the barriers that prevent Indigenous job candidates from finding and retaining a job to build a long-term career.

“Barriers that our candidates face include driver licences for example,” says Robbie Goulding, Industry Liaison Officer.

“We try to reduce their barriers by integrating wrap-around support services with the day-to-day delivery of accredited industry based training.”

“The program’s objective is to help the Cairns and far north region to build and maintain the workforce capacity and introduce jobseekers to the construction, warehousing and retail sector,” explains Robbie.

A recent addition to the MiHaven team is FOGS rugby league legend, Sam Backo. Sam is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s who has been named as one of the greatest Aboriginal players of the 20th century (source: Wikipedia). Sam is MiHaven’s Indigenous Mentor Manager.

The company’s long term goal is to work directly with aspiring leaders in remote indigenous communities to mentor the youth, families and people to have the skill base, commitment and support to create their own economic prosperity and end the reliance on welfare to survive.

MiHaven has taken a new approach investing time, money and resources (including state and federal government funding) to develop a model where industry is training for industry. This ensures that quality industry skilled training continues during the downturn so that an adequate skilled workforce is also available when the economy recovers.

And from this great work MiHaven has invested wisely with their trainees to ensure they flourish successfully out in the big wide world.