September 3, 2020
Last updated on October 22, 2020
Ben*, 23, has long been determined that living with autism would not be a barrier to finding a meaningful and sustainable career.
After leaving high school at 18, an opportunity arose with TRY Work – a certified commercial services social enterprise – changing Ben’s life completely.
A subsidiary of TRY Australia, one of the country’s oldest social enterprises, TRY Work offers a range of commercial services including cleaning, ground maintenance, and skilled labour hire.
“TRY Work helped me to take the first steps to establishing my career by completing a Certificate I in Building Construction,” said Ben.
“It was thanks to TRY that I knew I wasn’t ready to stop there. I needed to keep going in order to break into the industry, so I went on to complete my Certificate II and built up my experiencing by doing labouring with TRY Work.”
With his qualifications and work experience, Ben has been able to successfully transition into the workforce. Today he is working 15-30 hours a week and earning his own money from a career he’s built, even rewarding his hard work with the purchase of a new car.
According to TRY Australia CEO Angela Forbes, stories like Ben’s are made all the more possible through partnerships with large private sector clients like construction company McConnell Dowell.
TRY Work has been contracted to provide commercial cleaning and labor services to a number of McConnell Dowell’s building sites across the Melbourne Metropolitan area for several years.
“We have been working with McConnell Dowell since 2017 on various projects which up to April 2020 had provided over 17,000 hours of training and paid employment to TRY employees and we are forecasting an additional 55,000 hours of employment over the next two years,” Angela said.
“COVID-19 has driven increased demand for quality cleaning services, providing TRY Work with the opportunity to scale our operations and importantly support more young people into employment.
“Thanks to significant contract growth with McConnell Dowell since April we have been able to create 12 new jobs, representing 3765 hours of work for long-term unemployed young people facing barriers to the workforce.
“The most pleasing thing is that these results are achieved because we compete, and win, on quality customer service and a fair price. They don’t award us this work out of good will. Our team deserve recognition for their dedication and hard work to continue to deliver superior results.
“We are very proud to be a Certified Social Traders organisation. 100% of our profits are reinvested to create more employment and training opportunities for the young people we target.
“One of our goals is that our young people will go on to full time employment outside of TRY.
“So we focus on supporting a sustainable transition back into the workforce that sets our young people up with skills and confidence that will last a lifetime. Therefore, buying our services delivers critical long-lasting social impact.”
According to McConnell Dowell, Western Program Alliance Plant Manager, Dan Armistead, as a leader in the social procurement space, McConnell Dowell highly values their long-term relationship with TRY Work.
“We particularly appreciate TRY Work’s collaborative and flexible approach to service delivery, encompassing cleaning and hire that not only provides excellent value to our customers but delivers lasting benefits to the community,” Dan said.
*not real name