Back to Work has provided thousands of Queensland employers with the confidence to hire unemployed jobseekers, changing lives and improving the way they do business.

Ascot Hotel

The assistance the Back to Work Program offered gave me the confidence to employ new staff.  Having Joseph in the kitchen has brought stability to the team. 

Owner of the Ascot Hotel in Rockhampton, Will Cordwell, said he hired Joseph in October 2016. Joe was unemployed for a long period of time before finding work with the Ascot Hotel.

Joseph has proven himself in his current role as a kitchen hand and Will is hoping he may accept a new role as an apprentice chef.

“The assistance the Back to Work Program offered gave me the confidence to employ new staff.  Having Joseph in the kitchen has brought stability to the team.  We’ve been able to give Joseph secure employment and he has flourished.  Thanks to the time I’m able to put into him, his confidence is increasing and he’s engaging with people more.  This has only been possible because of the Back to Work Program.  I want to reduce my time in the business, so I’m looking to employ further under Back to Work.”

– Will Cordwell, Ascot Hotel Owner – Rockhampton

Think Tank Branding Solutions

Hiring Kaitlyn and Jaradeenah was hands down the best thing I have done to date.

We started as Jaana Brown Photography in February 2016, this was a hobby. By mid-2016 I was being paid for it and by December it was a growing business. In January 2017 I brought on a freelance graphic designer as a collaborator (whom I now employ). In February 2017 I brought on a freelance photographer to do band and festivals as a collaborator and in March we brought on more freelancers who do websites, SEO and graphic design. April saw us welcome our freelance marketing and branding specialist and in May we welcomed our sales funnel specialist and we recently welcomed our personal photography freelance collaborator. 

In the middle of all that collaboration, I came across the Back to Work program. It was getting to the point that I was unable to maintain the business growth on my own and so I started researching them and how I might be able to get some assistance at a time where there was a lot of outgoing and everything was being reinvested. To my surprise, I was eligible.

Tracy Ellul, the Back to Work Employer Officer, was amazing. She helped me through the then very new initiative and made the process simple. I advertised, received hundreds of applications, shortlisted it to about 20 and brought that down over a week to just two. At that stage I was only in the market for one employee but both of them stood out as having tremendous potential and I decided because the  grant allowed up to five applications we would jump in head first and hire both.

Hiring them was hands down the best thing I have done to date. Kaityln is 19, but has seamlessly come across as my right hand man and we are now at the point where she is extending into photography herself within Think Tank. Jaradeenah is 21 and runs Accounts Payable having learned Quickbooks and applied the learning very quickly with vigour and a smiling face. Both of them come with a great deal of energy and wonderful attitudes. Three months in and I don’t know how I did it before. Jaradeenah is inherently deaf with an implant and this has in no way affected her performance at work, in fact, I feel it has brought an element of inclusion into the way we create the internal culture here at Think Tank now and moving forward.

Both girls are now participating in the Certificate 3 Guarantee Boost program as part of their role which is allowing us to deliver training and skills on the job. To be frank, hiring them has made the difference to the growth here in Think Tank. Without having brought them on I simply could not have continued the growth we have experienced here.  I expect if this continues the way I think/plan it to, we will look to nab another 1-2 staff before the grant runs out and bring them in to help the girls with overflow.

Overall, our experience was great and the grant application process was simple and easy to follow. The application was straight forward, the resources were easy to work with and we have had such a wonderful experience. These grants will be something that forms the basis of our success story, because put simply, without having access to those funds to help bring staff in and give us a running chance, we would not have grown as quickly as we have.

– Jaana-Liisa Brown, Think Tank Branding Solutions

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