Coming from a background of family financial struggles, Luke searched for a job for five years, but couldn’t find a way into the workforce. When the door opened to work in the Victorian public sector through a YES traineeship, Luke strode through, and he’s not looking back.

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Luke started looking for a job when he was 14, applying to over 300 businesses during five years. His family faced struggles with accommodation and finances, and Luke was motivated to work to ease the burden on his mother. However, he found it difficult to find opportunities, and felt disheartened and depressed.

Luke meeting with Delphine Wills at DHHS

After completing high school, Luke was placed with a job agency, who connected him with Jobs Victoria Partner AFL Sportsready. AFL Sportsready assisted Luke to apply to Jobs Victoria’s Youth Employment Scheme (YES) to undertake a one-year paid traineeship in the Victorian Public Service. Trainees work in government departments and agencies, supported by mentors and building skills. Following the YES traineeship, Luke went on to land a cadetship through Jobs Victoria’s Youth Cadetship Scheme, which offers him a two-year position, alongside accredited training.

Luke is now working with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. The work has been both challenging and satisfying, and Luke tells us that he feels he has been able to develop as an adult, and use his skills and intelligence. His mentor Delphine provides him with support for his work as well as moral support.

The struggle of looking for work made Luke feel that he wasn’t able to achieve anything. Given an opportunity to work and learn, and be a part of something, Luke has been able to appreciate his own abilities, and find renewed energy and enthusiasm for life. Working in the public sector is something that he has taken on with interest, and he is looking forward to a career and a future of opportunity.

Luke’s message to others who are struggling to find work, is to “develop yourself as much as you possibly can,” and “focus on what you want.”

Find out more about the Youth Employment Scheme and the Youth Cadetship Scheme

Find out more about AFL Sportsready