A Tough Past Finds a Bright Future



Aaron was finding it tough to get a job and after six years in prison the stigma that is associated with people who have served time was difficult to overcome.  When he first met Joblink Plus Consultant Jemma, Aaron was quiet and withdrawn.  Past negative experiences had left their mark, but Jemma’s honest and direct approach built trust and respect and enabled them to work as team.


With a Certificate IV in Fitness, and a passion for personal development, Jemma found Aaron a spot in the National Work Experience Program at a local gym.  Gaining experience, learning about workplaces and making headway saw Aaron’s motivation and commitment grow day by day.


“Jemma understood me and never judged.  Once I started working with Jemma I looked forward to appointments at Joblink Plus because I was moving forward”  said Aaron.  “Joblink Plus paid for and organised driving lessons, and then supported me to get my provisional licence.”


Aaron secured an interview with the Varley Group, and despite his nerves and doubts he got the job.  From his early days learning the ropes, his confidence, skills and professionalism continues to grow, and it’s now Aaron who shows new employees how to do the role.


“The Varley Group were patient, understanding and gave me a chance.  Nothing from my past is held against me, and I’m a part of team - from management through to my work mates.  I’m happy and grounded, my income means I can help my mum with some bills.  Being able to work and support myself and my partner is the best feeling.”


Jan Dobbie, HR Manager for Varley Group, Tomago was on the interview panel for Aaron.  “He was very nervous and quiet, and he didn’t have a licence or a vehicle - they are real obstacles that can stand in the way of getting the job.” Production Manager for Tomago Operations, Wayne Moy, could see Aaron had a lot to offer, and wanted to give him a chance.  In-between interviewing and starting, Aaron got his provisional licence and a car, and took up the opportunity offered.  “Initially, he was quiet and unsure, but through Joblink Plus and Varley Group we were keen to give him the necessary support and guidance to get him over the line.” Said Jan.  “He was part of a new operation and everyone was new and learning.  By six weeks in, he was a different person - he smiles, engages and he holds his head high.  He’s genuinely proud of what he’s achieved for himself.”


Congratulations Aaron, and shout-outs to Varley Group for their forward-thinking approach to recruitment and retention.


(picture l to r : Janet, Aaron, Jemma and Wayne)