Before taking part in the Staples Bag SSI Work for the Dole program, Campsie resident Marcel Tawbeh would never have considered working in retail.
“I was shy and lacked confidence, and thought I would only be able to work in the background,” Mr Tawbeh said.
SSI Work for the Dole participant Marcel Tawbeh (left) and staff member Napoleon Mansour.
The Staples Bag was developed as part of the CoAct/SSI Work for the Dole (WFD) program. It provides access to discounted essential groceries and also provides job seekers with tangible skills in a range of areas including logo and website design, packaging and warehouse maintenance, customer service and direct marketing.
“The SSI Staples Bag is a great program that has given me experience in different things, and I’ve discovered that working with people and in retail is really fun and much easier than I thought it would be,” Mr Tawbeh said.
Brad Reed of Croydon Park has been with SSI’s Work for the Dole program for less than three weeks but has already had five job interviews in that time; more than he has had in the past eight years of unemployment.
Mr Reed moved from Broken Hill to help his ageing grandmother and to find work. He said he was ‘stoked’ about his employment prospects and can’t believe that people in Sydney say it’s hard to find work.
“I moved to Sydney because I want to be a good role model for my two sons and I don’t want them to see me sitting around unemployed and unable to provide for them” Mr Reed said.
“SSI has really looked out for me and found opportunities that I’m interested in.
“Working with the Staples Bag team is helping to me keep busy, learn new skills and meet new people, and it gets me closer to bringing my boys to Sydney to join me.”
Mr Tawbeh is a keen gamer and hopes to get a job in an electronics shop, while Mr Reed is interested in security work.
Both men however are extremely motivated and happy to find any employment, and attribute this motivation to SSI.
“I do extra hours with Staples Bag because I enjoy it so much,” Mr Tawbeh said.
Settlement Services International (SSI) is a community-based not-for-profit organisation that provides a range of services in the areas of humanitarian settlement, accommodation, asylum seeker assistance, multicultural foster care, employment services and disability support in NSW.
As a member of CoAct, a national network of locally-embedded community service providers, SSI delivers the Australian Government’s jobactive service.
Job seekers can find the CoAct/SSI job active office at 308 Beamish Street Campsie. To purchase the Staples Bag, visit the warehouse at 449 Canterbury Road, Campsie or go to website www.thestaplesbag.org.au
SSI Communications Coordinator Rekha Sanghi 0422 304 578