24 June 2024

Sam gains new skills and hands-on experience. 

Sam has been building his employment skills and trialling different vocations with the support of his Employment Pathways coach, Rebecca. Together, they have explored woodwork, kitchen hand, and cleaning work.   

Image: Sam wears a black T-shirt with the Soul Hub logo on it, smiling at the camera.

In November, Sam expressed an interest in trying out a job in retail and began job hunting with the support of Rebecca. Together, they updated Sam’s resume, found a few shops in Newcastle that were hiring, and submitted his applications.

When the time came for an interview, Sam and Rebecca role played interview questions and practiced the journey to the potential workplace.  

Happily, Sam smashed his interview, and he was offered a volunteer position at a local not-for-profit organisation which sells clothing, food, and furniture for people who are facing hardships. Sam’s role was in the op-shop component of the store, where he unloaded and organised stock, assisted customers, and general cleaning duties.  

Once Sam started his new role, Rebecca engaged in practical support to build his capacity on the job, setting a goal to improve Sam’s understanding of what he needs to do during his shift.  

Sam loves to help out in the pantry where he will organise the shelves and learn valuable skills such as stock rotation. Sam now understands the importance of stock rotation and can identify what may need to be rotated.  

“It is very busy but I like the pantry.” Sam said.

Like many Employment Pathways participants, Sam embraces a more hands-on demonstration, rather than a verbal explanation. For Sam, this approach, alongside the one-to-one style of individualised support, provided him with a safe and supported space where he gained an understanding of how real-life work environments function at his own pace, significantly improving his practical skill development. 

Image: Sam stands in a group with three people, smiling at the camera. The woman in the middle holds up a sign which says: 2 Days until Sleepout. $137,082 raised of our $200,00 goal.

Now, Sam understands what is expected of him at the workplace, and he can work independently. Sam really enjoys working in the op shop and his new colleagues have welcomed him with open arms. This has strengthened Sam’s confidence in his communication and social skills.  

In fact, Sam is now much more social and even engages in unprompted conversations with co-workers, which is something he found challenging to do the beginning of his pathway. Sam is comfortable laughing and joking around and sharing his interests with co-workers.

He shared with Rebecca that he really enjoys going to work and specifically likes that he gets to work with various toys.  

“I get to look at all different toys whilst I work, it is fun,” Sam shared.

The next step in Sam’s journey was to explore a long-term placement in an OzHarvest program where he began working towards a kitchen work certificate. As part of this placement, started working at Soul Hub once a week, where he assisted with cleaning the café and packing people’s groceries in Soul Hub’s pantry.  

Sam enjoyed talking to the staff at Soul Hub and meeting new people each week. Sam always displayed the upmost respect for all visitors and built relationships with everyone he interacted with.  

Image: Sam, wearing a black Soul Hub T-shirt, stands with two women, smiling at the camera. The woman in the middle holds up a sign which says: 2 Days until Sleepout. $137,082 raised of our $200,00 goal.

Sam has shown significant development over his time in YPEP. His exploration has given him the autonomy to explore what he wants to do long term, at his own pace.  

“Overall, Sam has blossomed and has gained crucial skills for work. He continues to show up to every service without fail, with a smile on his face,” said Rebecca. 

“It has been a pure pleasure to watch Sam engage with others independently and really help others who need it in our community.”  

Sam is a participant of Life Without Barriers Young People’s Employment Pathways in Newcastle. 

Young People’s Employment Pathways

There’s more than one pathway to your dream job

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