When Lachie and Byron were selected for ReNew Property Maintenance they were stoked. Byron had graduated from BikeRescue and was looking for something else to sink his teeth into, and Lachie wanted something to help him achieve long term employment.
ReNew was a good match for both of them. The new social enterprise is a property maintenance service that provides funds to support Dismantle’s programs, and functions as a step towards work readiness and self sufficiency for young people at risk of long term unemployment. Participants complete at least ten sessions of a Workplace Development Program (WDP), during which they go out to residential and commercial properties and complete tasks such as garden maintenance, basic landscaping, handywork and window cleaning. In addition to gaining valuable work experience, they’re supported to set up their own professional email address, CV, template cover letter, bank account, TFN, superannuation fund and any other required documentation they need to secure a long term job at the end of the program.
Lachie is at Anchor point, an alternative educational opportunity run by Youth Futures, designed for young people who have disengaged from traditional high school. When he had his first interview with Georgina, ReNew Property Maintenance’s WDP manager, he was shaking in his boots. “First day we met I was nervous as hell,” he said. Since then, he’s not only grown in confidence, his overall mental health has improved. “I feel less nervous in general, I don’t get that much anxiety as before, don't get anxiety attacks like used to.” ReNew Property Maintenance is Lachlan’s first job, and he’s gained a lot in terms of work readiness skills. “From then to now, I’m a lot more confident, experienced and I’ve gotten more efficient… Renew doesn't just teach you to garden, it teaches you to be organised, to be on time.”
Byron has had a similar experience, and now has a much clearer vision for the future. At the start, Byron says ReNew simply made him feel good. “It felt good finally doing something with my time,” he says. “I like making other people [the residents] happy, and I feel good about myself at the end of the day.” He’s stoked that he now knows how to write a cover letter and has now got some solid experience to go off. The next step for Byron is to move out of home, and to do that he knows he will have to afford rent, bond, and living expenses. He’s motivated to get long term work, especially now that he has the experience and tools to back him up. “I’m feeling good that I can get more experience and try out different stuff,” he says. “The reviews we got [for work they did] were amazing.”