Given the Chance

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

A Given the Chance participant at work

Given the Chance is an initiative of the Brotherhood of St Laurence. It has been 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.

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.

Over the seven years the program has operated, 86 per cent of participants have completed it and of these 91 per cent gained employment.


  • Traineeships and apprenticeships provide on the job experience, coupled with essential qualifications for future employment, and usually includes 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.
  • Brotherhood of St Laurence Social Support Services can be accessed by Employers and further referrals provided where necessary.

Who is eligible

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

We also work with asylum seekers through our Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers program. Read more »

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)

Employers interested in learning more about the program can contact:
Brian Finnigan, phone 0424 751 920 or email bfinnigan(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.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Brotherhood Books
Brotherhood of St Laurence Communtiy Stores
Hippy Australia
Given the Chance

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.