fbpx Jesuit Social Services - Workplace inclusion programs

What is workplace inclusion?

Both experience and the research tells us that one of the most reliable pathways out of disadvantage and most effective ways of connecting with the broader community is through employment.

Pre-employment training

Jesuit Social Services has a history of investing in programs to support people to transition into jobs. Building on our experience over many years with young people in the criminal justice system, in 2001 we set up the Gateway program, which provided young people with the opportunity to learn new skills and use them in a way recognised and valued by the community, laying the foundations for future employment.

The creation of Jesuit Community College in 2011 gave further expression to our commitment to provide training and employment pathways, with accredited and pre-accredited training offered to people with barriers to mainstream education.

Workplace programs, mentoring and internships

Training programs at Jesuit Community College sit side-by-side our workplace inclusion programs, which connect employers with people facing barriers to employment. These programs get people “in the door”, while our mentoring and training offerings support them to perform to the best of their ability. Many of our participants go on to further employment and tell us that the workplace inclusion programs gave them the start they needed to get their lives back on track.

Our workplace inclusion programs

We conduct a number of workplace inclusion programs in corporate, community and small business settings, including:

Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN)

Our JVEN teams work closely with employers to identify job opportunities for disadvantaged Victorian job seekers, providing intensive support to prepare job seekers for those roles.

People we assist into employment include long term unemployed people who need additional help to find work but are not eligible for full Commonwealth employment services, as well as disadvantaged jobseekers with complex barriers to employment. These jobseekers may be people who are referred by other State Government services, such as youth justice clients, young people in out-of-home care, or part of a designated priority target group such as people who are Refugees and Asylum Seekers, or people from African-Australian or Maori and Pasifika backgrounds.

We work closely with each participant in our jobs program to create pathways to social and economic participation through engagement in learning and in work so as to change and enhance their lives.

Since 2016, our JVEN program has worked with 340 employers to provide over 1100 roles for our program participants.


The JobsBank program is specifically targeted to assist people who are already engaged and supported through other Victorian Government programs, such as housing, community services, mental health services and the justice system. Our support to participants provides them withtailored assistance to help them overcome often complex barriers to employment, including intensive case management and a flexible funding pool to support expenses like travel costs, childcare or appropriate clothing and workplace modifications. This program complements and builds on the Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN) program.

Transition to Work (TTW)

TTW provides intensive, pre-employment support for early school leavers aged 15 to 21 to improve the work readiness of young people and to help them into work (including Apprenticeships or Traineeships) or education.

Skills First Reconnect

Skills First Reconnect provides wrap around support to high needs learners who are between 17 and 64 years of age, and who have not completed Year 12 or equivalent, are not in education, training or full-time employment and are long term unemployed, and assists themto engage with and succeed in education and training.

As part of the Skills First Reconnect program, Jesuit Community College:

  • undertakes outreach and engagement activities to locate, engage and attract disengaged high needs learners back into a learning environment
  • assesses the learning and non-learning needs and develops an agreed learning plan to transition to further training or employment
  • Co-ordinates and provides access to support services that will support participants start and stay in training

Corporate Diversity Partnerships

African Australian Inclusion Program

The highly successful African-Australian Inclusion Program (AAIP) is a joint initiative of Jesuit Social Services and National Australia Bank delivered in Victoria and New South Wales. The AAIP is a dynamic and highly professional program for qualified African-Australians and provides six months paid, supported work experience at National Australia Bank (NAB) and a pathway to ongoing employment in the Australian business sector.

We are really proud of our achievements.  Of the 503 Participants that have taken part in the AAIP since 2009, on average, over 80% have been employed at NAB or in their chosen field at the end of each round of the program.  As at January 2020, approximately 50% of all AAIP alumni are still working at NAB.

For more information about the African Australian Inclusion Program, please click here

John Holland Pathway Program

Jesuit Social Services is pleased to be partnering with John Holland, one of Australia’s leading engineering, contracting and service providers to the infrastructure, energy, resources and transport sectors, to deliver the John Holland Pathway Program.  This program has to date provided opportunities to 23 men and women predominantly from African Australian backgrounds to gain their start in their professional engineering careers.

Opening Doors Program

Jesuit Social Services has joined with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on delivery of their ‘Opening Doors’ initiative – offering twelve months paid, supported employment experience to people from refugee and humanitarian backgrounds in both Melbourne and Brisbane, and more recently Sydney. Over 40 people from African Australian and other cultural backgrounds have been offered career start opportunities through the program.

Yarra Valley Water Career Connect Program

Jesuit Social Services has partnered with Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne’s largest retail water utility through the Yarra Valley Water Career Connect Program, to provide a six-month paid, supported employment and training experience for people who are marginalised, or at risk of marginalisation from their field of qualification.

Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program

The Victoria Police Diversity Recruitment Program seeks to increase the representation of African-Australians from refugee and other backgrounds in Victoria Police. The program focuses on addressing the challenges encountered by African-Australians who apply to Victoria Police, and is designed to provide support to applicants throughout their recruitment process to gain entry to the Force, including through the provision of an intensive 15 week course to participants delivered by Victoria University. This program is an initiative managed by Jesuit Social Services on behalf of a partnership including Victoria Police, the African Australian Multicultural Employment and Youth Service, Victoria University, AMES, Matchworks, and Maurice Blackburn.

Major Projects Jobs Service

The Major Projects Jobs Service is an initiative of Jesuit Social Services to support employers in the building and civil construction industry to access job ready young people from culturally diverse backgrounds for entry level and non-professional worksite and administrative roles.

The Major Projects Jobs Service will assist young people aged between 17 and 30 years looking for work in the construction industry with the training and mentoring they need to succeed in the workplace.

Through the Major Projects Jobs Service, Jesuit Social Services assists employers to access a pool of potential job ready and culturally diverse new employees, to meet both their workforce needs and to achieve the workforce diversity objectives.

Ignite Cafe Camberwell

Our Ignite Cafe at the Camberwell Library provides a welcoming place for the community to meet, as well as opportunities for people to train. At the cafe, people experiencing long-term unemployment learn alongside experienced hospitality professionals. Participants train in food preparation skills and customer service, gain hands-on experience serving delicious food and coffee, and develop their confidence to make positive and lasting changes to their lives. The library and cafe complement each other, providing a place for the local community to gather, share ideas and connect. Visit Ignite Cafe Camberwell on Facebook to learn more.