Benjamin’s new role provides him with stability during COVID-19

Benjamin is smiling looking at the camera. He is wearing his long hair out, and a blue denim hoodie.The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the workforce, leaving many job seekers concerned about their employment prospects.

WISE client Benjamin, who lives with diabetes, was facing the uncertain job market earlier in the year when restrictions came in to place in Victoria.

When Benjamin and his WISE Employment Consultant Janelle were discussing the best way to navigate this period, they decided to shift their focus to an industry that has seen an increase in demand as a result of the pandemic – the cleaning industry.

Once they started exploring this avenue, Benjamin was able to secure work fairly quickly. In early June, he began a role cleaning the streets of Boronia, maintaining public hygiene and contributing to keeping residents in the area safe from coronavirus. Since then he’s moved on to the Maroondah council, an area he knows like the back of his hand.

At first Benjamin was wary about the job, “I wasn’t expecting to like it,” he said.

However, despite initial concerns about starting a cleaning role he’s had a change of heart!

“I work with a really great team, ranging from five to 10 people depending on the day, and we walk around 17-20km each day to help maintain hygiene within the council. I find walking really calming, allowing me to clear my head and get my exercise in,” he explained.

Effie Hiotis, Recruitment Consultant at Workforce International, says Benjamin is an integral part of the Maroondah street cleaning team.

“Benjamin came to his interview with an eagerness to jump straight into work, which is why we thought he’d be great in the role. Since he started with us it’s evident he’s been putting in a lot of effort, actively looking to learn from his supervisors and showing a great amount of initiative. We couldn’t be happier to have him on board!” she said.

Benjamin lives with diabetes, so having a physical job means that he has to take extra care in managing his condition and monitoring his glucose levels during the day.

“It’s like working two full time jobs!” he commented.

Nevertheless, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Finding stable employment during this particularly uncertain time has been a great relief for Benjamin. He’s looking forward to keeping up his step count and continuing to keep the local council area safe through COVID-19.

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