After applying for over 50 jobs, nineteen-year-old job seeker Elias was starting to lose hope that he would ever find employment. Growing up in a small country town, moving to Melbourne was a difficult adjustment for Elias, and eventually lead him to leave school at the age of 17.
After leaving school, reality sank in for Elias. He didn't have enough support at home, and with no previous work experience or further education behind him, he was suddenly on the brink of long-term unemployment.
"My mindset wasn't great. Not great at all. It was this feeling that I wasn't going anywhere," said Elias.
In August of 2022, Elias was referred to our Workforce Australia - Transition to Work Services in Cranbourne, where he was introduced to his future Asuria Mentor, Renee. Elias had been with other providers before and had not had any luck, so Renee's first action was to show Elias that Asuria would take the time to get to know him and his goals.
Elias remembers feeling welcomed by Asuria from the first appointment, as he was impressed by the variety of coffee, teas and cakes the Cranbourne team had for their participants. Elias enjoyed getting to know the Asuria Cranbourne team, as their warmth made him feel seen.
"All the workers put in the effort to make their own space. Renee specifically had some fun pictures on the wall and fun things on her desk. It gave the office some personality and my appointment didn't feel so clinical, and I think it helped me feel more comfortable."
Elias appreciated Renee's commitment to getting to know him. After coming across a flyer about the Victorian Government and their new collaboration with the Accommodation Association, Renee pitched working in the hospitality industry to Elias, who shared that he'd always had an interest in bartending.
The partnership between the Victorian Government and the Accommodation Association was created to deliver a $5.6 million program to fill 320 jobs in housekeeping, food and beverage, and other various events across Victoria.
Since the program's launch, 130 people have found work through the initiative, including Elias.
After working with Asuria Mentor Renee and Asuria Team Lead David Baxter, Elias applied for the program. Once successful, he was enrolled in pre-employment training and received his Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate.
Upon completing all his training, Elias landed a part-time job working in the Food and Beverage team at the luxury hotel, Quincy Melbourne. To assist him in transitioning into the role, Renee and the Asuria team covered Elias' public transport costs and a new work wardrobe.
Now six months into the role, Elias is being trained to become a bartender and is excited and thankful for the independence and hope working has provided him.
"It's given me a place of direction; I now have a place where I can focus, and I have more stability."
Growing up in the country, coming to the city was overwhelming, but working at the Quincy Hotel Melbourne has helped Elias step out of his comfort zone, and now Elias is enjoying having the finances and freedom to explore Melbourne.
"I'm able to travel around the area more because I never really knew anything about the city and about catching a train. I was more of a country kid, but as soon as I had to start going to work, I caught buses and trains and walked around the city and it's opened my eyes to travel and now I really appreciate Melbourne, it's such a cool place."
Having always been interested in bartending, Elias says that being employed has changed his life, and he's excited for the future opportunities working at Quincy Melbourne can bring.
"The best part has been gaining more skills I've wanted to get for a while. Now that I'm getting trained in bartending, it opens doors for me if I ever want to try anywhere else."
Asuria is so glad to see Elias working in an industry he's always wanted to explore. Renee and the Asuria Cranbourne team continue to check in with Elias fortnightly, to ensure he has everything he needs to continue growing and succeeding in his role.
If you're between the ages of 15-24, and would like assistance getting the skills, experience, and qualifications needed for a pathway into work or study, then click here to check out Asuria's Transition to Work Services.