After 11 years of unemployment Butchulla man Brian Darby is thriving in his new job at Thomas Borthwicks & Sons.
Brian secured employment after taking part in Moving the Mob, an intensive pre-placement training program created to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Mackay region.
Powered by MRAEL through IntoJobs (part of the IntoWork Group), Moving the Mob has been co-designed with First Nations Program Facilitators to provide support and assistance specific to the needs of unemployed First Nations people, in a culturally safe environment.
Previously, 46-year-old Brian struggled to keep a job for more than a week but he loves his new role as a packer at Borthwicks, “I love it. At the moment, I am stacking boxes of meat onto pallets and that suits me fine. It keeps me healthy and makes me stronger. I like to do work that builds my body and keeps me fit.”
Brian’s favourite thing about the Moving the Mob program was learning self-respect and budgeting: “Basically, how to keep everything balanced in life. It was really good communication between everyone involved; goals were all set out and what we wanted to achieve in the course. It was a very happy-natured course.”
MRAEL Business Growth Partner Jason Allen said MRAEL consulted a range of First Nations representatives when developing the program to ensure it was both culturally safe and appropriate to reflect First Nation People’s specific needs, “Our program is not about accreditation, it’s not even about employability. It’s more about their story and where they are at and empowering them to get to the next stage. The program is designed to motivate, engage, and develop a personal ‘story’ of each participant so we can further develop them to gain employment.”
The program covers off on personal and employment related goal setting and skills around money management, health and wellbeing, work readiness, local labour market information and access to further accredited training based on each individual needs.
With the pilot program held in Mackay, Mr Allen said MRAEL aims to expand the program to other Queensland regions and across Australia, “We want to launch this across Australia to help as many First Nations people as possible to reach their employment goals. We’re looking forward to seeing this program roll out to other First Nations communities and support their unique needs.”
Brian said Moving the Mob program was ‘mind-opening’, “The program was pretty outstanding, and the mentoring was great. Everyone participated and got along. We didn’t have any breakdowns or communication failure even though people came from different backgrounds. The program gave people a sense of direction and job prospects, and it was a good, fun environment. I loved every single day.”
Brian is now working to gain his forklift license and HR license to upskill himself in his job.