To some, the daily grind of work is a far cry from the joyous pursuit of passion, but to many who have had experience with law enforcement, getting a job, and one in which they love, means everything. For Northam local, Aaron, his time in prison was transformative, however, he faced challenges when looking for work upon his release. To get back on his feet, he needed an employer who would look past his record and see his skills, potential and eagerness to earn a living.
In a paper released by the NSW Government, employment was identified as one of the best predictors of post-release success for ex-offenders 1. Evidently, employment assists far more than financially for this cohort of the population. They are an untapped sector of the community who bring unique skillsets, mindsets, and a determination to work; their abilities should not be overlooked. Thus, there is an opportunity for employers to overcome labour shortages by considering a skilled and able workforce.
Let’s paint the picture. Imagine you are a hiring manager for the local council and are on the lookout for new gardeners to take care of the local parks and gardens within the region. You see an application come through from a gentleman named Aaron. He loves the outdoors, being out in the sunshine and helping the community. He has an employment history in gardening and mowing lawns, and he loves it. He is great at communicating, loves working in a team, is available full time and is eager to find work.
While Aaron’s experience and wealth of knowledge makes him a perfect candidate for the job, it is likely that his criminal record would rule him off the list before he had the opportunity to show his potential. As a client of atWork Australia, this was not the outcome for Aaron. He was supported to achieve his best, upskill, and build his confidence. He was able to achieve more than he thought was possible, and even land himself a job that he loved!
Aaron received a range of assistance throughout his journey; his atWork Australia Job Coach, Jess, worked closely with the employer to ensure the needs of both parties were being met, whilst also providing a space to ask any questions that they may have. As a result of these interactions, the employer felt informed and comfortable to make decisions they would not normally do. For example, giving Aaron a chance to vouch for himself after hearing the results of the police clearance and giving him a trial run that allowed him to showcase his skills.
Aaron said, “Jess and atWork Australia have been very supportive in setting me up on those first couple of weeks, such as helping me get my manual Driver’s Licence.”
However, it was his determination, courage, skillset, and self-belief that laid the foundation to his success. This was proven after only one month in the role when he was promoted to 2IC. Jess is happy to report that, “The employer is so happy with Aaron, we have heard nothing but glowing reviews about him”. This promotion not only benefitted the business, but it also instilled a new sense of confidence in Aaron and his abilities. He states, “No one can do what I do, so I don’t think they will be getting rid of me soon”!
Passionate and dedicated people like Aaron need to be given a chance before it is taken away from them. Hire their ability, see their potential, and reap the benefits.
Looking to hire inclusively? You can get into contact with atWork Australia for support via: www.atworkaustralia.com.au.
- NSW Government – Justice Corrective Services, Evaluation of vocational training in custody. Relationships between Training, Post-Release Employment and Recidivism.