After a heartbreaking start to 2020 for Adam, things are finally turning around.
The 19-year-old landed a new job with Miepol, which delivers civil construction projects and traffic and asset management around Melbourne.
“I was recruited as an auditor by Miepol where I regularly travel to bus stops to ensure they are well maintained and safe for everyone to use,” Adam said.
“I have recently had an amazing opportunity to work with the Department of Transport on an amazing project, undertaking a variety of different tasks from customer service to assisting the team with infrastructure work.”
A former contractor with Jetstar Airways at Melbourne Airport, Adam was among hundreds of people stood down from their jobs when airport traffic was dramatically reduced by the coronavirus pandemic in March.
With no choice but to find another job, Adam signed on to Working for Victoria, a state government initiative matching thousands of Victorians who have lost their jobs with employers that need staff. It also supports people to upskill and return to work.
Just as he was in the process of applying for his first job – a customer service role in a call centre – he received devastating and life-changing news.
“Only when I thought things couldn’t get worse, I heard the news that my father had passed away,” Adam said. “I was devastated and I knew I needed to step up to help support my family in these unprecedented times.”
By the time Adam was able to return to his job search the call centre vacancy had been filled.
Adam contacted Wendy Saly, at Working for Victoria, to see if there was anything he could do.
“When Wendy heard about this tragic event, she worked tirelessly to try and find anything that might be suitable,” he said. “She told me she had sent through my details to Miepol and there had been a match.”
Within a day he had landed a job and was booked in for training.
“We had put out a message to the government that we were happy to support people who had lost their jobs,” said Miepol’s Andrew Severn. “We heard about Adam through Wendy and wanted to give him a go.”
Adam now works casually about 20 hours a week to fit in with his commitments and is welcome to stay as long as he likes.
Andrew said Miepol valued the opportunity to employ people through Working for Victoria, but also benefited from the arrangement.
“There’s a ready-made workforce we don’t necessarily have to spend days and days training, they’re available and they’re coming from a job so they’ve got previous skills. They generally can pick things up and get up to speed quickly,” he said.
“Adam’s a smart kid. He’s doing casual work now and gradually we want to train him into doing our scheduled maintenance.”
Adam, who also studies business management at RMIT University, said it was essential that he work to help support his family as they dealt with the loss of his father, as well helping him to develop new skills and connections.
“This job means the world to me. It has been a very difficult time for my family. Having this job with Miepol means I am able to work hard and support my family with whatever is required,” he said.
“I am so grateful that Working for Victoria has found me this job. It will change my life significantly; not only does the workplace help my situation financially but it allows me to feel good about what I do and to help people in any way I can.
“My long-term goal would be to obtain a position in management where I am able to oversee the operation and come up with new strategies to improve certain practices. I have always dreamed of leading a team and making a difference in the world. I am very excited to see what the future holds.”
Displaced workers can register their interest in seeking employment at Working for Victoria.