Given the Chance

Given the Chance is one of our longest running and most effective employment support programs.

Given the Chance is a set of programs designed to assist marginalised job seekers into work, support employers to grow and diversify their workforce, and foster social benefit and inclusion in workplace communities.

An initiatives of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Given the Chance is being rolled out nationally to meet the demands of employers, matching them with potential employees in a professional, personalised and fully supported way.


  • Traineeships and apprenticeships provide on the job experience, coupled with essential qualifications for future employment, and usually include pre-vocational training.
  • Labour hire provides job seekers with much needed Australian workplace experience, while allowing employers time to identify whether they may be suitable for longer term employment.
  • A relationship manager is appointed to support supervisors, field questions and identify further support where needed.
  • The Building Bridges Cultural Awareness training helps develop manager skills to assist with employees' integration into the workplace and provides practical tools and information to help navigate cultural differences that may arise.
  • Each employee is appointed a field officer to help navigate the transition to employment.
  • Employers can also access wider Brotherhood services to support new and existing employees, including support to boost English skills and micro finance assistance.

Given the Chance - Money well spent

For every dollar spent on supporting an asylum seeker to find work, there is a $3 benefit. That is the conclusion of an independent analysis by auditors KPMG of the Brotherhood’s Given the Chance program.

Overall program benefits are more than $7 million. This benefit is shared between the Federal Government (in taxation revenue and reduced welfare payments) and program participants (via increased personal income).

Read the report and find out more in this short video.


Who is eligible

We work with the long-term unemployed; young people; mature-aged people; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; asylum seekers, refugees and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Given the Chance Jobs Victoria

Our Given the Chance Jobs Victoria employment program is a service for disadvantaged jobseekers, who live in large parts of Melbourne, including the western, northern and south-eastern suburbs, and on the Mornington Peninsula. 

One group assisted under this program is asylum seekers. We formerly supported this group through our Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers program which ran from 2013 to the end of June 2018, assisting 521 people into employment thanks to funding from a generous philanthropist. Read more about the program (PDF, 1085KB).  

Crossing Bridges to employment

This is a new recruitment process for the business administration traineeships that are offered by the Given The Chance program. To learn more about the guidelines and selection criteria visit the Crossing Bridges to Employment page.

Current Vacancies

You can view the list of current vacancies available through the program, on the Given the Chance website.

Contact us

Centre for Work and Learning
95 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065
Email: gtc(at)
Web: Visit the Given the Chance website 

Employers interested in learning more about the program can contact:

Simon Gray, 0427 258 521 or simon.gray(at) 

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.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes