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Brad’s journey showcases the power of SLES in helping young people find their ideal careers.

Brad’s career path took unexpected turns as he explored two different fields through Help’s School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) program. Initially drawn to horticulture, Brad’s passion led him to a local nursery. However, after gaining valuable work experience, he realised nursery work wasn’t the right fit. With the guidance of Coach Shileen, Brad transitioned to a new industry: cleaning. Now, as a School Cleaner at Sheldon College, Brad feels he’s on the right path.

Brad’s start with SLES

When he first joined the SLES program a couple of years back, Brad and his Coach, Lachie, focused on building pre-employment skills.

“When I started working with Brad, we dedicated our sessions to learning about, and practicing, resume and cover letter writing, job interview and workplace etiquette, problem-solving, and time management”, said Coach Lachie.

With Lachie’s support, Brad learned how to navigate job finder websites like SEEK and social media to apply for suitable job opportunities.

Brad says working with Lachie has helped him “develop his communication skills, learn how to look for work, create a resume, and prepare for job interviews.”

Using these skills and his knack for brightening peoples’ day (Lachie says “Brad can put a smile on anyone’s face!”), Brad soon landed an interview with a local nursery.

Pictured: Brad working at his local nursery with HELP Coach Lachie + Brad posing with his P plates next to his new wheels.

Getting work experience with support

He then undertook work experience, doing jobs like weeding, watering, re-potting, pruning/de-flowering, fertilising, assisting with large orders, and pricing.

But one of Brad’s learnings from the work experience was that while it felt right initially, horticulture wasn’t the right fit.

As much as Brad enjoyed working with and learning about plants, the nature of nursery work wasn’t working for him. This time, it was Coach Shileen who was there to support Brad’s new path. Together, they transitioned Brad from horticulture to a new industry: cleaning!

Shileen supported Brad in updating his resume and contacting prospective employers, especially schools, as this was where Brad was keen to work.

Finding the right career path

Brad now works as a School Cleaner at Sheldon College and feels this is the right path for him.

“While Brad was nervous to make the initial change from horticulture to cleaning, it felt ‘right’ once he started,” said Shileen.

“The industrial cleaning machines and electrical equipment were a challenge initally, but consistent training, on-the-job learning and a supportive environment helped Brad overcome this.”

Changing careers can be a difficult and nerve-wracking choice. Hard as it can be to make the change, though, it’s essential to listen to your instincts. And with strong fundamental skills to build on – and ongoing support – Brad was in a great place to make it happen.

We can help you transition from school into paid employment. Contact our friendly team to find out more.

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