Long-term unemployment can wreak havoc on a person’s sense of self-worth, well-being and confidence.
That was the situation 28-year-old Jake Robson from Victoria found himself in after five years out of work.
Having left school at an early age, he faced literacy challenges, and had limited reading and writing skills.
As a single dad, he was keen to find sustainable employment to provide for his family and put himself on a stronger footing.
But like 90,000 Australians in his position, he first had to build up his job confidence.
With help and support from the MAX team including our health professionals, Mr Robson worked hard to overcome the barriers to employment his severe learning difficulties presented.
By the time he heard about the adult apprenticeship spray-painter program at AMA Group Solutions, was ready to take his first steps back into the world of work.
“Before I got this job, I was out of work for about five years,” Mr Robson said.
“I was miserable and depressed, basically stayed indoors all the time.
“MAX Solutions worked hard with me, they were there for me.
“They bought me new gear, boots, personal protective equipment – everything I needed for the job.
“They also got me mentally prepared.
“My life’s changed so much since I got this job and started working full-time.
“I can finally afford to spend time with my kids, take them out and do the ‘Dad stuff’.
“It’s very important for me to keep this job and I’m going to make sure I do everything to keep it and get qualified.”
Since the end of 2018, MAX has placed over 50 people across Australia into roles with AMA Group Solutions.
His boss at AMA Group, Nick Overton, says Mr Robson has been an asset to the business.
“Jake has fitted into the role extremely well and is willing to learn new things,” Mr Overton said.
“He applies himself with hard work and diligence and he has very good attention to detail, which you really need in spray-painting.”
MAX National Partnerships Manager, Liam Fitzpatrick, praised Jake for working through his fears, overcoming his interview nerves and impressing the employer with a willingness to learn new skills.
“Jake had to readjust physically and get used to the demands of working in a structured role,” he said.
“He was also required to keep working on the challenges that come with learning difficulties so he can perform his duties well.
“This role has given Jake some much-needed stability, and an opportunity to do more activities with his children, which is fantastic.
“We’re behind Jake all the way and we want to make sure he goes from strength-to-strength to achieve his goals.”