City of Yarra Engineering Operations Manager
City of Yarra Engineering Operations Manager, Kim O'Connor, employed trainees including refugees from Somalia and Sudan.
"The benefits really are two way," Kim says.
"The program has helped the council fill vacancies within its ageing workforce and improve street cleaning, litter collection and graffiti-removal services.
The trainees received mentoring from experienced BSL Field Officer staff, support to improve their basic literacy and numeracy skills, and help to gain nationally accredited certificates and heavy-duty driving licences.
The people we have kept have a great work ethic ... we have consistently had two trainees and we also run a separate program where the Brotherhood provides us with people for manual labour during the autumn-leaf period," Kim says.
"The programs help people build knowledge of the Australian job market and gain local work experience that should make them more attractive to future employers."