We continue with our stories of young achievers...
When the flow-on effect of the Covid-19 pandemic caused many people to lose their jobs around Australia, the Mount Gambier City Council became proactive and created job opportunities to help soften the blow. Programmed Skilled Workforce – whom council engaged to recruit workers – contacted the MRC in May to hear if anyone from refugee background has lost their job due to Covid-19. The MRC was able to identify a number of clients and emailed their resumes to Programmed Skilled Workforce.
One of the clients, Congolese man Claude Kulimushi’s resume stood out and Programmed Skilled Workforce contacted the MRC for a reference. Claude was working as a taxi driver but due to Covid-19 restrictions he was unable to do his work, and his future was uncertain.
In addition, Claude was also working as a casual bilingual support worker at the MRC but due to the Covid-19 international travel ban and no new arrival refugees, his hours at the MRC were also reduced.
Council offered Claude a casual position over four days per week for three months. He was kept busy driving a forklift, painting and refreshing bus stops and other tasks council gave him. However, when Claude reached the end of his three-month contract, council was so impressed with this hardworking employee who arrived at work with a smile every day and a willingness to take on any task, that they extended his employment until work had dried up. Council felt Claude was such a good worker that he deserved another job opportunity. They referred Claude to OneFortyOne Plantations where Claude was offered a job at one of their sawmills in Mount Gambier. On 9 November, a very happy Claude started his new role at the sawmill where several other Congolese men have been employed in full-time positions for several years.