‘Life is more stable now I’ve got a job.’ Giving job seekers a chance 

21 March 2018

Public housing resident Chernet, 21, is enjoying his job as a builder’s labourer and the sense of security that comes from working full-time. ‘Life is more stable now I’ve got a job,’ he says.

Chernet is one of the first to be placed into work as part of a new Brotherhood employment program operating across much of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. With Victorian Government funding, the Given the Chance Jobs Victoria program supports disadvantaged jobseekers such as those who live in public housing.

Before joining the program Chernet had not had a regular job for over three months and intermittent work before that. Now he is working full-time he is saving to buy a car, and to complete electrical pre-apprenticeship training. He is also making connections with electricians on the construction site, and hopes his developing networks will lead to an apprenticeship in the field he loves.

Brotherhood Senior Manager Employment Jo Tabit says many people in public housing have significant barriers to employment which they can overcome through the program.

‘We all know the typical barriers like limited English, issues at home, disrupted education, lack of know-how around recruitment, and lack of skills and experience,’ she says.

‘What we see on the ground is people who are very keen to work but have lost confidence over time. Sometimes they don’t know where they fit, and don’t have good job networks.

‘It takes time to really drill down and understand their abilities and what motivates them. Once they get some exposure to work places and employers we work with you can plant that seed of hope. When you take the time to believe in people and go on a journey we find that lives can be transformed.’

Disadvantaged jobseekers who live in large parts of Melbourne's inner-west, northern and south-eastern suburbs and on the Mornington Peninsula are eligible to take part in the program. 


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