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14 Nov 2016


SSI jobactive employment service wins five-star rating

Fiona Herron, Cecilia Rigas, Amina Khatoon at Foodie Fee.

From Bangladesh, Ms Khatoon came to Australia with her two children to join her husband. She lacked confidence because she believed her English skills weren’t good enough to find a job. After 12 months with SSI jobactive, participating in an SSI social enterprise and completing a variety of courses, Ms Khatoon is thrilled to have found her first job.

“I feel fantastic, and my manager and work colleagues are really lovely and we are a great team,” said Ms Khatoon.

SSI Employment and Enterprise Manager Terry Wilson said that SSI’s innovative social enterprises and recruitment service had helped almost 2000 people find work in the past financial year, including people of migrant and refugee background and people seeking asylum.

“We are very proud of the work being done by SSI Employment and our social enterprises that help jobseekers get work experience in fields as diverse as marketing, cooking, packaging, warehousing and retail,” Mr Wilson said.

“The time they spend with us not only gives them experience in a realistic work environment, it also helps improve the life skills they need to keep a job, such as punctuality, self-confidence and reliability.”

Ms Rigas owned her own business in Greece and was very anxious about whether she would find work in a new country when she arrived just 10 months ago.

“I have always worked; work is very important to me but, because I am older, I thought it would be difficult for me to find work,” she said.

“But after just two months with SSI I got this job with Foodie Fee and I am so happy.”

Ms Khatoon and Ms Rigas are both employed with Foodie Fee, an organic healthy snack business owned by Fiona Herron.

Ms Herron approached SSI because she particularly wanted to employ someone of migrant or refugee background.

Ms Herron said she wanted to help people who had recently arrived and needed employment opportunities to give them a head start.

“Part of my philosophy is for people to use their hands in their work and I’m hoping to build a business that will create work opportunities in an environment where there are fewer jobs due to machines and robots,” she said.

“As a small business you run around doing a lot of job descriptions, so when I was ready to employ someone, it was really easy to find staff through SSI.”

Ms Herron also appreciated the food handling course that SSI organised for Ms Khatoon and Ms Rigas to complete before they commenced employment.

“It saved me time and money by the ladies having this certification already before starting work with us,” she said.

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