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First Steps to Success

Sixty Illawarra locals who are ready to start work, met with businesses who had positions they needed to fill quickly. At the First Steps to Success event, Illawarra employers were able to meet candidates they might have never met through traditional recruitment channels.

atWork Australia’s First Steps to Success event brings together local businesses with the aim to support people looking for work through the Workforce Australia and Disability Employment Services programs.

This proved to be a great success, with over half of those in attendance hired on the spot or gaining new skills. For one local business, they hired nine candidates on the spot, who were able to start work immediately.

Mark Beaver was one local who landed work after attending the event.

“I talked to an employer about my background and volunteer work in woodwork. They had a job working with students, helping them to assemble flat packs as part of a weekly class,” said Mark.

“I was so excited to finally get a job. Not to mention doing something I am passionate about. It was a role I didn’t realise was out there and I can’t wait to start working.”

Another client, Joshua, who successfully found work said, “It was a great opportunity to practice becoming comfortable talking with employers. It helped me shake the nerves for my next interview, where I felt more confident and landed the job.”

Clients such as Mark, can face barriers to employment through traditional recruitment processes. Events such as these allow employers to meet candidates in person. They get to know them in a more welcoming and comfortable environment. Local businesses also save time by meeting a variety of candidates at once and being able to interview on the spot.

Manuel, from local business Baker Street said “We’ve had a lot of staff turn over lately. Being able to come to an event where we can meet clients who are looking for work in one spot saves us a lot of time. It gives us the opportunity to meet clients who are a good fit for our business.”

Also, in attendance were registered training organisations, local community organisations and other partnerships, all aimed to support clients to find what they need to be work ready.

“Some clients might meet an employer they are really interested in working for, but don’t have the relevant tickets or licences. They are then able to sign up for those things at the same event,” said atWork Australia’s Senior Manager of Employer Engagement, Kylie Waters.

“We aim to bring together everyone in the community who can help people find meaningful work or support them on the path to finding work. More employers have upcoming interviews with the clients who attended.”

“We know the difference meaningful employment has on people’s lives, and we can see the benefits reliable and motivated staff bring to these local businesses.”

The events run quarterly, and interested businesses can sign up by registering their details at

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