When Callum Kennedy left high school in Tasmania, like any excited teenager, he was full of hopes and dreams for his future.
But after two years of job searching, and with just two very short-term roles under his belt, he needed a new plan.
Mr Kennedy enrolled in the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program through MAX Solutions in a bid to improve his reading and writing skills.
With help and support from his teacher, Jules, his literacy skills and job confidence got a boost.
By the time a vacancy with Lenah Game Meats of Tasmania came up, Mr Kennedy felt his newfound skills, coupled with his strength and stamina, were more than able to cut it as a butcher.
And, after just one week in a paid work trial, he was offered a position as a skinner and bone slicer in the team.
Owner Katrina Kelly explained that developing the right team with the right dynamics was critical to the business’ success.
“We employ just seven people here,” Ms Kelly said.
“Who we employ in a business of our size is absolutely critical.
“The most important thing is attitude by a mile.
“MAX Solutions is a really important partner in this process.
“If we need to recruit someone, we’ll contact MAX and they will forward to us some resumes of people that they feel will meet the criteria we have put forward.
“It makes it very streamlined and saves us so much time.”
She praised the 22-year-old as “a gem”, who after just two years with the business, is now a valued member of her team.
“He’s really thoughtful, he’s really engaged, and he’s got enormous potential,” she said.
Mr Kennedy said the training and support from MAX gave him the head start he needed.
“MAX Solutions was good, they helped a lot with me getting my confidence up to be able to look for a job interview,” he said.
“The job has changed my life.
“I’m able to buy things that I want, and I’ve been a lot happier with my life.”
MAX jobactive placement consultant in Launceston, Isabel Polley, said for customers like Mr Kennedy, literacy barriers can be overcome with the right support.
“We want young Australians to get the skills and training they need for a successful career,” Ms Polley said.
“But unfortunately, when someone is struggling with literacy, their self-esteem and confidence can be seriously affected which can go on to cause further problems down the track.
“This is why the SEE program can be really helpful.
“It provides high-quality language, literacy and numeracy training of up to 650 hours to eligible customers looking for work.
“The program is geared to industry to ensure customers like Callum can increase their employment prospects and have a brighter future.”