Soil tester saves money for car

After a long six years unemployed, it’s a huge milestone to complete your probation period in a job you love.

Andrew Jewells, 36, has been working as a Coal Tester for Mayfield-based employer, ALC for the past 14 weeks. Through an intensive process of retraining and seeking support, the East Maitland man has been able to turn his life around.

He said his proudest moment has been being able to save enough money to buy a car and regain his licence.

“I’m feeling much better, mentally and physically, and more confident,” Andrew said. “I am stronger physically, more confident in myself, in a better financial position, I have better social skills, I’m drinking less and enjoying life more.”

He said he felt he now had more choices/options and life had improved substantially through earning money to do things he was previously not able to do.

Konekt Employment area manager Jamie McMahon said Andrew was a different man from the ex-offender who had walked into his office with no licence or own transport, limited work capacity, mental health barriers and financial hardship.

“Now he is working hard and his employer is saying positive things,” Jamie said. “If you’ve had a challenging background, it can take a while to get back on your feet. But my advice – don’t give up, and try different things.”

Andrew was referred to Konekt Employment by Centrelink. The team was able to refer him to counselling to address non-vocational barriers, provide in-work support, financial assistance through use of the government Employment Fund (EF), creating a new resume, and helping with online job applications and interview techniques.

“We have a genuine desire to help people get back into the workforce and stay there,” Jamie said. “We also have the fundamental belief that work is good for people.”

The agency is continuing to stay in contact with Andrew until he is completely self-sufficient.

“When we place someone into a job, it’s not the end of our contact,” Jamie said.

Konekt Employment

(02) 4035 8700