Pana and Louis from Pana Chocolate invite us into their Richmond production facility to talk about their sustainable business and how Jobs Victoria helped them recruit the right people.

Read the video transcript

Operations Manager Louis tells us the Second Chance program is a two-way street: Pana Chocolate has provided a meaningful job for someone who needs one and gained a valuable employee who wants to work hard and become a part of their business community.

Pana Barbounis with his sister Maria in their Richmond factory

Pana Barbounis with Head Chef Maria in their Richmond production facility.

Founded in Australia by Pana Barbounis, and still made in a cosy Richmond production facility, Pana Chocolate is now sold in over 25 countries. Pana Chocolate is a unique, sustainable business. Its product is handmade from raw, organic ingredients and packaged using only recyclable and earth-friendly materials. This sustainable development and production ethos carry through to its core operations, including recruitment.

Pana and Operations Manager Louis entered into a collaboration with Jobs Victoria, CVGT and Banksia Gardens Community Services to employ people through the Second Chance program. It was important to them to give an opportunity to people in the community who are often overlooked. The program also reduced the workload for the business, with CVGT and Banksia screening potential employees, and supporting them in their new workplace.

The Second Chance program works with people who have court matters pending in the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court. It helps them get a job and keeps supporting them once they are working. CVGT Australia is a not-for-profit organisation providing a range of employment services across Victoria, NSW and Tasmania. Banksia Gardens Community Services is a vibrant neighbourhood house and community service located in the heart of Broadmeadows. Both these organisations, in partnership with Jobs Victoria, are delivering this program providing support for people looking for a path back to work.

Find out more about the Second Chance program here