Employment diversity – good for business
Repurpose It is a new cutting-edge resource recovery business in Melbourne’s north.
Just as the company is breaking new ground by converting construction waste into reusable materials for infrastructure projects, Re-purpose It has a purposeful employment strategy and is working closely with the Brotherhood’s Given the Chance program.
The company has made an active choice to promote diversity and hire workers from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds, says company founder and managing director George Hatzimanolis.
“The benefits go beyond making a bigger impact to your local community, it’s just good business. It puts you in a good position with social procurement obligations.”
So far, 11 workers have been placed with the company, some in casual or part-time roles and others in full-time positions.
“I heard about Given the Chance from the City of Whittlesea when we were starting up and for me it’s about the legacy we leave behind. It’s about creating a long-term sustainable business.”
“My parents were immigrants and their parents were also refugees from Asia Minor to Greece. I hear the stories from my father and how they started from nothing. It’s important for me todo my bit now, to help others,” says George.
After the success of the initiative in Victoria, Given the Chance is now being extended to select sites nationally to meet the demands of even more employers and job seekers.
Given the Chance has worked with marginalised job seekers and employers since 2007. The program recognises that some job seekers require higher levels of support, and participants and employers are fully supported prior to and during employment to maximise positive outcomes. Job seekers gain invaluable workplace experience and usually go on to further employment after their initial placement.
Through its advocacy work at both federal and state government levels, Given the Chance has had a notable impact in key areas of employment policy.