Sanh Tran is a participant in our Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN) program. He shares how the support of the JVEN team has enabled him to overcome barriers he experienced due to his culturally and linguistically diverse background and find stable, long term employment.

Like many people who are made redundant, Sanh Tran had a long and dedicated employment history, having worked for a Melbourne clothing company for 25 years. Despite his extensive work background, when he found himself looking for work again in his fifties, he struggled to find a job and ended up staying at home “for four or five years.”

When he attempted to re-enter the workforce, he was frustrated that the job offers he was receiving were for physically demanding work with labour hire agencies and did not take into account his age or capabilities. “A couple of agencies looked at jobs for me, but all the jobs weren’t suitable and I only stayed there for a couple of weeks. After that, I can’t work anymore, because that job was not suitable for me.”

Things changed for Sanh Tran when he made contact with Jesuit Social Services’ Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN) program. While the other agencies he had been placed with had been focused on meeting their outcomes, he says the our team took the time to interview him and learn “what jobs I can do, and what job is suitable for me.”

He says that having Jesuit Social Services’ staff advocate to employers on his behalf was a huge point of difference to the services he had accessed previously. “You know my English is not very good, when I go to the employer, they don’t understand what I say, but when Nola and Sharon (his JVEN workers) speak with the employers, they speak differently, because they can explain what experience I’ve got, and what I can do. I can get a job. That’s a big difference.”

Since starting work with his current employer nine months ago, the future for Sanh Tran has brightened considerably. “Everything now is perfect for me. For the future, I think it’s wonderful – very good. Because this job is very suitable, I can do everything they ask, and the important thing is, they like it. It’s making me happy, because when I go to work, I’ve got income, and I’ve got extra money to feed my family, my kids, and myself. And my future, I have money to go on holiday. It does make a difference – a big difference!

I hope that I can work here for a long time. That’s my future. Forever.”