Sub­sidy aids job starter


Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jil­lian Mc­Kee

AF­TER work­ing his whole life, Ed­ward Va­leri found him­self in a down­ward spiral, be­com­ing both un­em­ployed and home­less within two years.

The 57-year-old from Whalan worked as a team leader at RailCorp be­fore be­ing let go two years ago af­ter dif­fi­cult work caused him to burn out.

“Af­ter I lost my job I was a to­tal bas­ket case for three months,” Mr Va­leri said.

“It is like a domino ef­fect. One thing af­ter an­other hap­pens and you end up with noth­ing. I had been earn­ing sub­stan­tial money when I was work­ing, so I re­alised the dole just didn’t cut it. I needed pos­i­tive think­ing and a new di­rec­tion.”

Mr Va­leri sought cri­sis ac­com­mo­da­tion with the Depart­ment of Hous­ing, where he met two other men in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion.

The men bonded to­gether and were ap­proved for a pri­vate rental prop­erty in Whalan.

“We moved into our house on Christ­mas Eve last year. We had noth­ing. The house was com­pletely empty. But to have a roof over our head was the best Christ­mas present ever,” Mr Va­leri said.

Shortly af­ter, he se­cured a job as a con­struc­tion worker with Par­ra­matta-based com­pany Piv­otal.

He was em­ployed un­der a govern­ment job­seeker sub­sidy, which of­fers $10,000 to busi­nesses that em­ploy ma­ture-aged work­ers over 50.

Piv­otal sales and ser­vice man­ager Richard Me­drze­jew­ski said Ed­ward had ex­celled since he had be­gun at the com­pany three weeks ago.

“Ed­ward has just grabbed the op­por­tu­nity and ran with it,” Mr Me­drze­jew­ski said. “Be­ing ma­ture-aged, Ed­ward has a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and a great work at­ti­tude – he ac­tu­ally wants to be there.

“At Piv­otal we do take ad­van­tage of the wade sub­sidy as it is an en­cour­age­ment but we also look for peo­ple with the right skill set and feel we have a duty to help the com­mu­nity.”

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