Samuel, a young job seeker, joined the Workforce Australia Program at MTC last year. He had been working casually in different labouring jobs and as a kitchen steward since 2018, but his situation worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving him underemployed.
Samuel’s story resonates with many Australians impacted by the structural changes in the labour market over the past four years. The pandemic further exacerbated the rise in underemployment, while the lack of work experience added another hurdle to finding permanent employment.
However, Jonathan, one of MTC’s Workforce Australia Coaches, stepped in to assist Samuel. Jonathan worked with Samuel to understand his situation and explored different opportunities and pathways that could benefit him. Despite Samuel’s hopes for a permanent position through his casual work, six months had passed without any progress.
That’s when Jonathan introduced Samuel to the mandatory activity hosted by the Ted Noffs Foundation, which focuses on helping young people with drug, crime, and mental health issues. This program provided Samuel with a regular routine and a sense of normality, enabling him to discover the benefits of having a stable weekly schedule. Samuel agreed to participate and successfully completed the 8-week program.
In late June, Joe Antonios, a local employer and owner of WasteWood, a recycled timber business in Marrickville, visited the MTC office. Joe was intrigued by MTC’s Workforce Australia Program, as he believed in the circular economy and wanted to find employees who shared his company’s values.
After discussing the benefits of MTC’s employment services and their alignment with his business model, Joe decided to provide a vacancy to MTC in the hope of finding the right match for his team. Jonathan wasted no time and contacted Samuel immediately, setting up an interview with Joe the next day.
During the interview, Samuel showcased his knowledge of waste management gained from his previous kitchen steward position and his experience in various labouring roles. He impressed Joe, and just three days later, Samuel was offered a permanent part-time position as a junior timber floor process worker. Joe was amazed at how quickly the position was filled, and Samuel’s perfect fit within his company’s culture.
What makes this story truly special is Joe’s commitment to providing training opportunities to Samuel. He teaches Samuel every aspect of the business, from processing and operating to marketing and selling. Joe firmly believes that empowering individuals will not only benefit his business but also have a positive ripple effect throughout the community. His vision is to establish miniature workshops nationwide, where people can appreciate the beauty of repurposing. Through these workshops, Joe aims to create business opportunities for others, ensuring mutual benefits for everyone involved.
This inspiring tale showcases the power of the Workforce Australia Program at MTC, bringing together individuals like Samuel and employers like Joe who share a common vision. It’s a testament to the transformative impact that suitable and meaningful employment can have on individuals, businesses, and the wider community.