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Given the chance to succeed in aged care

Benetas is reaping the rewards from a partnership between the Victorian care provider and community organisation Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL).

<p>Unity Omaregie has been employed by Benetas through the Given the Chance program.</p>

Unity Omaregie has been employed by Benetas through the Given the Chance program.

Through BSL’s Given the Chance employment program, created to support diverse groups such as refugees and young people to access meaningful employment, Benetas has given three job seekers the chance to shine in aged care.

Aged care graduates, Richard Kabera, Immaculee Ntakirutimana and Unity Omaregie, are currently employed as Personal Care Workers at Benetas Gladswood Lodge in Brunswick West for six months, with the potential for ongoing employment.

According to Benetas General Manager People Development, Ellen Flint, the program helps build a bridge for the employees between having the aged care skills and developing the confidence they need to succeed in the Australian workforce.

“Benetas is a ‘for purpose’ organisation and Given the Chance represents our values and our commitment to diversity,” Ms Flint says.

“We have a number of diversity initiatives, including being recognised an Employer of Choice for Gender for the tenth consecutive year; Given the Chance is just another way we are bringing our commitment into practice.”

Unity Omaregie, a 44 year old refugee from Nigeria, applied for the program after struggling to secure work due to inexperience in the aged care industry and cultural barriers.

He made a wonderful impression during his time at Benetas Gladswood Lodge and is well respected amongst residents and his colleagues.

“I finished my Certificate III in Aged Care and completed my placement, but this was not enough to give me a chance in the workforce and it was really difficult to secure employment,” says Mr Omaregie.

“When I first arrived in Australia I was working in warehousing, but I much prefer working in aged care. I feel so happy coming to my shifts.

“Today  I am confident in my work because of the experience I have gained at Benetas through Given the Chance,” he says.

Given the Chance was developed in response to a diverse community requiring access to employment opportunities, and to support employers to grow and diversify their workforce, while fostering social benefit and inclusion in workplace communities.

“Benetas’ participation in the program is part of our Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and reflects our ongoing commitment to establishing creative and non-traditional employment pathways to ensure we can deliver the highest level of care,” says Ms Flint.

Benetas is one of several organisations working with BSL to host Given the Chance program. Over the seven years the program has operated, 86 percent of participants have completed it and 91 percent of those gained employment.

For more information about the Given the Chance program, visit giventhechance.bsl.org.au.

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