Thanks to The Border Mail for highlighting this success story.
It first appeared here: a-young-mans-journey-to-secure-employment
For 16-year-old Blair Stones, the future didn’t look bright.
The Corowa-based teen had missed a lot of school, barely passing year 8.
Blair lacked confidence, had poor mental health and was particularly anxious.
He had no work experience and the prospect of finding a job was daunting.
“I waited home for a bit,” he said.
“And I couldn’t keep doing it and some stuff happened, but I ended up moving in with my brother
“We went from there.”
Two years later, the now 18-year-old has turned his life around.
“[I] met The Personnel Group and here I am today,” he said.
The Personnel Group has been working with local youth, particularly people with a disability or those with a mental health condition, and helping them find suitable job placements for 35 years.
With support from the service, Blair has been employed full-time for over a year, working as a stockman and now an all-round handy man for Riverlea.
“It’s probably about a year and three months,” he said.
“I was rapt that I got that job, I won’t leave it.”
Blair said beyond the practical skills he’d learnt on the job, such as pig, sheep and other livestock handling, he’d also grown as a person and his mental health had improved.
“It gave me confidence,” he said.
“Because from where I was coming from I was sort of a bit shaken up with anxiety.
“Now I don’t really get that.
Blair said the job, and the support to find the job, had helped him immensely.
“From where I’ve come there’s not too much money, you know,” he said.
“So to be able to have my own money and do my own thing, it’s just brilliant.
“Now I can get my life going.”
Blair was grateful to The Personnel Group, but in particular, he thanked his employment consultant Sue Kafarela, who’d supported him one on one.
“Sue’s brilliant,” he said.
“She’s so down to earth.
“[She] just gets along and helps you, just a nice person.
“I don’t know how the other Personnel Groups are around the area.
“But Sue, at the one in Corowa, she’s grouse.”
He said the generosity and kindness of the people at the organisation made him want to go in and get the support he needed.
“They’re grouse,” he said.
“I’d recommend them to anyone, especially to young people.”