For the past 20 years owning Beaufort Butchery has kept Rohan and Barbara Quinton more than busy, with rarely a day off.

Christopher Cook and Rohan Quinton at Beaufort Butchery.

Beaufort Butchery's new hire Christopher Cook with owner Rohan Quinton.

Now they finally have some breathing room, thanks to their new hire, Christopher Cook, brought on with the help of a wage subsidy from the Jobs Victoria Fund.

Out of work for eight months

Christopher, a qualified butcher, started at Beaufort Butchery in March this year, after eight months out of the workforce.

Last year, things went from bad to worse when he was laid off due to impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and then suffered two hernias.

It was “more annoying than painful”, Christopher says, because he couldn’t apply for work while he was waiting for the scheduled operation – a wait of several months.

“Part of your stomach comes out, and it was out the whole time, so it was hard for me to go and find a job that would require me to lift absolutely nothing,” he says.

As well as making it easier to pay bills and live the kind of the life he wants, the new job at Beaufort Butchery has put a spring back in Christopher’s step – something he lost during his extended period of unemployment.

“It was too long for me,” he says. “You feel a bit lost, and like you don’t have anything to do in life.”

Kickstart helps small business get ahead

By hiring Christopher, Beaufort Butchery was eligible for a wage subsidy from the Jobs Victoria Fund, which supports priority jobseekers, including the long-term unemployed. “It’ll help a lot, because we’re only small and it gives us a bit of a kickstart,” he says.

Having Christopher on board is a big relief for the Quintons, who are planning to take a well-earned break at the Australian Bowls Championships in June.

It also means they have the resources and skills they need to reintroduce some value-adding products, which had to take a backseat while things were so busy.

Lip-smacking goods such as rolled lamb, stir-fries, and their special chicken baguettes with camembert cheese seasoning are back on the menu, providing another welcome boost to business.

“When we were flat out busy before, we just didn’t have time to do all that sort of stuff,” Rohan says.

Find out more about the Jobs Victoria Fund.