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Tailored Assistance Employment Grants help find the right job

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Left image shows young Aboriginal man wearing brown shorts, lumberjack shirt and boots operating a tile cutter on a bench with a building in the background. Right image shows same man working at a bench cutting a tile with an angle grinder
Luke Dunrobin takes pride in his work
5 Jan 2018

Finding a satisfying and stable job sometimes requires help, and often means leaving home and family.

Luke Dunrobin, grew up in Mackay and completed Year 12 at Mackay Christian College. After school, he began a carpentry apprenticeship but was unable to continue due to lack of work.

For the next 6 months, he worked as a cleaner in his family’s commercial and domestic cleaning business. However, the work dried up and Luke was again looking for new opportunities.

He moved from Queensland to the coastal Victorian hub of Geelong in August 2016 where he saw a Gforce Employment Solutions advertisement for a tiling apprenticeship. Gforce is funded to find employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a Tailored Assistance Employment Grant (TAEG) under the Jobs, Land and Economy Programme (JLEP).

Luke applied for the apprenticeship and was successful, beginning work in November 2016.

Luke loves the new skills he’s gaining and moving towards being fully qualified in a trade. He said it can be stressful but the camaraderie with the other tradesmen on the construction site is something he enjoys, along with the challenge the trade provides and the satisfaction when completing a quality job.

Barry Sarah of On Top Tiling is Luke’s host tradesman. He is very proactive in teaching Luke the skills of the trade and mentors Luke in many other ways. Luke has proved to be an excellent employee. He learns quickly and eagerly and has a great work ethic.

‘I have been pleasantly surprised by Luke since his start as my apprentice,’ Barry said.

‘His willingness to work hard and ability to learn has been a huge asset to my business. Luke and I get on extremely well. His demeanour is friendly and he is fully invested in becoming a top end floor and wall tiler.’

Luke enjoys life in Geelong especially the climate. He enjoys the outdoors, four wheel driving, camping, fishing and touch football.  He has rekindled relationships with extended family that live in Warrnambool.

Luke returns home to Mackay regularly to visit his Mum, Dad and siblings as well as extended family and friends.

Luke said it is very important to maintain connections, and as the eldest child, to set a good example for his younger siblings.

Find out more

The Australian Government’s TAEGs are creating opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander job seekers throughout Australia.

Tailored Assistance Employment Grants support activities that help Indigenous Australians to overcome disadvantage in the labour market and connect them to employment, help them gain experience that builds work readiness, and contribute to the broader community.