Optus creates Pathways to Employment

2016 was a busy year for ABCN founding member Optus. The business worked with over 840 disadvantaged students Australia-wide across many mentoring activities. It was also instrumental in pioneering a new program, Pathways to Employment.

‘Optus was already deeply involved in mentoring with the ABCN Interview 2 Impress program and we looked at how we could add more value; from developing employability skills to providing real employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth’, said Helen Maisano, Associate Director, Corporate Social Responsibility at Optus.

‘At Optus, many of our people have built successful careers after starting in our retail team. For many students, their first real job is often in the retail environment, and we had an opportunity to help set students up for success in applying for retail roles, with Optus or other retailers’.

Maisano and other Optus leaders worked closely with ABCN to create a tailored program Pathways to Employment where Optus committed five retail store positions specifically for students completing the program.

Pathways to Employment was piloted in Vic, NSW and QLD with 56 ABCN students participating in highly interactive and fun activities designed to build their confidence and understanding of how to deliver their best in a job interview – particularly in the retail sector.

Following the workshop, student Amrit said; ‘This has given me more confidence, shown me my weaknesses and improved me overall.’

After completing Pathways to Employment, students were encouraged to apply for one of the roles in Optus retail stores over the busy Christmas period. Six students were successful in securing a retail roles with Optus, and some of them have been offered ongoing employment post the Christmas period.

One of those students is Masooma who joined the retail team in Optus’ Parramatta store.

Masooma said; ‘It taught me how to be a role model and be an effective leader. It’s been an amazing, amazing experience. I feel proud to be part of the Optus team.’

Pathways to Employment is now an ongoing program offered through Optus. ‘We’re delighted that young people have the opportunity to work towards a tangible outcome. In this instance, employment and work experience with Optus,’ said Jacqui Jones, ABCN’s Chief Executive. ‘This program is invaluable as it helps cement students’ undertaking of the real world of work.’

For more information about ABCN’s interview skills programs, please contact info@abcn.com.au

For more information about Optus’ social and environmental initiatives, please visit https://www.optus.com.au/about/sustainability

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