Connecting young job-seekers with national employers is helping foster bright career futures, writes VANESSA IENTILE.

Participants Danielle, William and Grace with Rob Koczkar (CEO, Social Ventures Australia); Andrea De Almeida (Director of Venture Philanthropy, Social Ventures Australia); The Hon. Wade Noonan MP (Minister for Employment and Industry, Victorian Government); Diana Vieweg (Human Resources Manager, Marriott Hotel Melbourne); and Julie Edwards (CEO, Jesuit Social Services).

Since leaving school, Danielle had a number of small part-time jobs, but due to anxiety issues, found it difficult to settle.

Danielle lacked direction and did not have someone to support her in taking the next step to finding secure employment.

After connecting with Jesuit Community College, Danielle completed our pre-employment program including the work experience component where she gained valuable skills and confidence.

Through the Industry Employment Initiative (IEI) – a partnership between Jesuit Social Services, Social Ventures Australia, Brotherhood of St Laurence and Mission Australia – Danielle is now employed at the five-star Marriott Hotel Melbourne.

The IEI was established to create pathways to employment for young people through partnerships with national employers.

“With the support of both the Marriott and the College mentoring program, Danielle believes she has a future. She’s now taking full advantage of the opportunities she has been given,” says Jane Kenny, Coordinator of Community Partnerships at Jesuit Community College.

The Marriott Hotel was the venue of the recent launch of a new program, funded under the Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN), which sees Jesuit Social Services once again in partnership with Social Ventures Australia. At the launch, Victorian Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan announced that the JVEN initiative had reached a milestone of 1,000 job-seekers placed into employment across Victoria in the first eight months of the program.

Danielle was proud to be selected to be a host at the launch, greeting guests as they arrived.

“It’s a big achievement for Danielle. She’s employed and looking to the future,” says Jane.