Team leader at 18, guided by our Frankston Reconnect program

13 April 2018

Within three months of starting a job brokered by our Reconnect program, George, 18, was promoted to team leader. He could not find work after finishing Year 10 two years ago, when he came to our Reconnect program in Frankston, one of Victoria’s youth unemployment hotspots in Melbourne’s outer south east.

He had struggled at high school but was surprised how quickly he picked things up in his new role as a process worker with Australian Dairy Park, which manufactures and packages milk powder.

'I’m in charge of five people in the clean room. I’m training two guys and I make sure everything is safe, everyone’s following proper procedures and everyone’s happy.'

Rebecca Willmott oversees our Frankston Reconnect program. She says the approach her team takes is to address specific barriers each person faces in pursuing their career goals and develop a particular plan of action.

'We tailor a package to a young person's need and give them lots of encouragement. Anybody can succeed if they believe in themselves,' she says.

George says Reconnect helped him learn how to get a job and perform in an interview, offering guidance every step of the way.

'It gave me confidence to have someone to help me get there,' he says. 'If I was by myself I would have been too nervous or I would have got confused. If I needed assistance they were there for me.'

'To go from having no work experience to being a team leader at such a young age - I feel very proud that I have achieved so much,' he says.

George's manager, Freeman Lewry, says the company has recruited five young people through Reconnect in Frankston and George is another great find.

'George was very shy when he started but it was evident he had the skills to learn the job, and in turn teach others. He enjoys showing people how to be successful and is very patient when he is teaching a new team member.

'It's great knowing the young people who come to us from the Brotherhood have the practical skills to be successful in the workplace. The Reconnect team was so willing to support George while he settled into his new job.'

Find out more about Reconnect.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
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