After arriving in Australia, Michael was having a hard time finding employment due to his language skills. Michael had limited English in all forms, reading, writing, and speaking.

He started engaging with staff at Job Prospects Dandenong, where he was supported to complete the Skills for Education and Employment Program and was enrolled in a Certificate III English as an Additional Language course.

Employment consultants at Job Prospects assisted Michael to access counselling through Job Prospects Counsellor, Jerry. They also helped him with creating a resume, staging mock interviews to prepare him for job interviews, and marketed Michael to various vacancies with local employers. Michael attended many job interviews but unfortunately, his English language skills were not suitable for the positions.

Michael was then referred to Alex at Coat Plus, a local powder coating company. Luckily for Michael, the owner of this company had a similar experience in Australia when arriving as a refugee more than two decades ago. The job was primarily manual labour, as factory hand assisting with powder coating, so Alex decided to give Michael an opportunity to show his skills at the job.

Job Prospects were able to support Michael and Coat Plus with the use of paid work trial funding, so neither had to worry about money while making sure the job was a good fit.

Michael wearing his High Vis Coat Plus uniform stands in front of a workshop

Alex was so impressed with Michael’s work at the two-week work trial, he was offered full-time casual employment, which he started in November 2019, around 18 months after arriving in Australia. Job Prospects further supported his employment with a wage subsidy and funds for work clothing and required safety equipment.

Recently Michael hit the fantastic milestone of six months of paid employment with Coat Plus. The employer is so happy with Michael’s work and attitude, he has started to teach him the intricacies of powder coating. Alex says, “He is picking up powder coating very quickly.”

Alex has been so impressed and hopes to hire more people with the same great work ethic as Michael.