Just the job for Joseph

Joseph Sieh is taking part in the Fresh Start Leadership Program, run by Wyndham council and Pacific Werribee. Photo: Wyndham council

Joseph Sieh is on the front foot in his bid to get working.

He is one of 18 young people taking part in an innovative project that aims to help young people from multicultural backgrounds find work.

The 25-year-old from Truganina is participating in the Fresh Start Leadership Program, a pilot program run by Wyndham council’s Youth Services and Pacific Werribee.

Wyndham learning city portfolio holder Josh Gilligan said the project was an Australian first.

The six-week program will give participants, aged between 15 to 25, the chance to join a weekly class and learn about hospitality, retail and customer service.

At the end of the program, Woolworths, Myer, Rebel Sport, JB HiFi and Coles stores at Pacific Werribee will offer the participants job interviews.

Cr Gilligan said the program had “proven so popular that it is at full capacity”.

“Many of the young people involved were born overseas, in countries like South Sudan, India, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Ghana and the Cook Islands,” he said.

Young people have been referred to the program by community organisations, schools and police.

Mr Sieh – who was born in Liberia, raised in Nigeria and moved to Australia when he was a child – said he hoped the program would give him and his family something to take pride in.

Mr Sieh said that in the past he had worked in factories, as a bouncer, in roadside construction, as a painter and as a bricklayer.

“Recently my car and motorbike were stolen and that created a bit of a domino effect,”
he said.

“I lost my job and my house as a result, so I had to move in with a friend.

“Hopefully, this program will get me on my feet again.”