They do say “there is such thing as a silver lining”. With grit and courage, Indigenous Transition to Work participant, Dylan, has seen his life turnaround and is laying the foundation for a positive future.
Dylan, 19, grew up in Woollongong, New South Wales. Despite his mother’s support and encouragement to stay in school, Dylan found himself struggling with academic demands of his classes and in Year 10 decided to drop out.
Feeling lost and lacking direction, Dylan left his hometown and moved to Geelong for a fresh start. Unfortunately, things did not go to plan. Dylan found himself unable to find a job and living at various friends’ houses. It was not the ideal start he was hoping for. Finding suitable employment was made even more difficult by not having a driver’s licence and been solely reliant on his bike for transport.
As the month’s went by, Dylan seemed to be getting worse with no end in sight. He felt like he had hit rock bottom, disengaging himself from the rest of the world, and losing hope for the future.
After two years in Geelong, Dylan heard about and was referred to WCIG’s Transition to Work program, where he could receive assistance in finding employment. The 13th July 2022 will be a date marked forever as the day Dylan met WCIG’s Youth Coach, Sally, and his life started to look a lot brighter.
When Dylan met Sally, he shared his story of long-term unemployment, limited work experience, and inability to engage in any education. From their conversations, Sally identified that the perfect role for Dylan would be something outdoors where we could start with learning the basics and grow into the job.
Sally believed that with so many vacancies within the local jobs market, and with right supports, the perfect opportunity would present itself. Dylan was eager to give anything a go.
It just so happened at that time WCIG’s Employment Broker, Charlie, was speaking to several local construction-based companies, including G.& J FRASER Bricklaying, which agreed to give Dylan an opportunity to have a work trial. Dylan proved himself as a great fit the company – a hard worker, fast learner and was welcomed warmly by his new workmates. Without needing much consideration by the company, Dylan was offered an apprenticeship.
Putting aside a few hiccups at the start, including an accident on his bike which required Dylan having to receive dental care, Dylan’s life has taken a complete 180-degree turn. He couldn’t be happier. He has found his passion, his purpose and his dream job working outdoors.
With such a positive transition and ability to prove himself every day at work, WCIG announced Dylan as a Board Achievement Award recipient at its annual awards night in December 2022. With the funds he received, he was able to pay for the bike repairs and attend thirty driving lessons to help him build up the experience and hours needed to get his licence.
Dylan is proof that sometimes all that people need, to turn around their lives, is the opportunity to prove themselves. G & J FRASER Bricklaying took a chance and there is no looking back.
In recent days, Dylan has commenced his apprenticeship and got his driver’s license.
Dylan is so grateful for the support, encouragement and friendships he has made over the past six months.
“Things cannot get better. I love being a bricklayer. When Greg retires I plan to one day takeover the business – hopefully that’ll stop me having to shout the boys at knockoff time every Friday,” said Dylan.