Community Innovation and Investment Project

As part of the Community Innovation and Investment Project the Local Action Group in the South East designed the South East Employment Hub (SE@RCH). SE@RCH is a pilot employment program being managed by Colony 47, that seeks to support local people and communities achieve their employment objectives. Since commencing in July the project has seen some great outcomes for local job seekers.


Josh is a young man who had undertaken some paid work through the Green Army Program but had otherwise not yet gained any paid sustainable employment. Josh also only held a learner driver’s licence and could not easily afford to sit the test for a provisional licence.

He saw the South East Employment Hub’s vacancy advertised on Facebook for a retail assistant in the garden centre at Holt’s Mitre 10 in Sorell and submitted his resume. As Josh lived locally and appeared to need the opportunity for a start, he was interviewed for the position by the SE@RCH Manager and was found to be suitable for shortlisting through to the employer. If Josh was competing in the open market for the position, without an intermediary looking for a local person and willing to overlook a lack of work experience, it would have been difficult for him to gain an interview with the employer.

Approximately two hours prior to his interview, Josh phoned the SE@RCH Manager very nervous about how his interview was likely to go. They discussed questions he would likely be asked, how best to answer those questions and talked through his strengths. Josh’s strengths that he drew on for the purpose of the interview included the following:

  • A ‘clean slate’ to be trained without bringing bad habits to the job;
  • an eagerness to start a career with a sustainable job for a solid length of time;
  • an interest in horticultural products;
  • the fact he was young, fit and healthy; and
  • reliability due to living close by.

Josh attended his interview and was successful in gaining the position at Holt’s Mitre 10.

The SE@RCH Manager has kept in regular contact with both Josh and his supervisors to provide mentoring through his early weeks of employment on maintaining a neat and tidy appearance, encouraging him to request assistance with work clothing from his employment services provider, and reiterating his supervisor’s feedback of the things he was doing well to build confidence.

Holt’s Mitre 10 owner, Graeme, was very pleased with a simple and effective recruitment process and Josh is very pleased to have his first full-time job which he is really enjoying.

(Left to Right): Holt’s Mitre 10 owner Graeme, Josh and South East Employment Hub Manager Marinda.