Kyle Hooton was in year 9 when his teachers came to an agreement with his parents to allow him to end his formal education early. That decision may have seemed like the right one at the time, but since then he has struggled to find work.

“No one would give me a go, due to my lack of education,” Kyle said.

Now 24, Kyle has a son of his own, and is determined to provide for him with more than just a Disability Pension.

Kyle’s employment consultant, Anne-Marie Barry, has enjoyed her interactions with Kyle.

“Kyle came to us voluntarily. He was very keen, and responded well when I laid out the mutual obligations we were agreeing to.”

“Anne-Marie’s done a lot for me,” Kyle said. “She was awesome. She made me feel like I can do things even without the qualifications. I just needed that initial push. She understands me 100%.”

Worktrainers saw an opportunity to help Kyle gain some skills, and quickly enrolled him in a Cert III course in Carpentry.

“We’re lucky that we have the resources to be able to help some of our clients with their course fees.

And, in Kyle’s case, things like work boots.”

Worktrainers were also able to find Kyle a local employer, and he is now working part-time with Thomas Noordham Plasterers.

“Because he’s got his head around the tradie mindset, he really is enjoying it,” said business owner Thomas Noordham,

“I’m already giving Kyle overtime. Once the trial period is over, I’d be happy to take him on more permanently.”

Having someone invested in Kyle’s success has been a key part of his ongoing journey.

“It’s a journey that I’m privileged to  be part of,” Anne-Marie said.

Kyle has now completed the classroom-based components of his course, and he is able to start looking for carpentry apprenticeships alongside his growing role with Noordham Plasterers. Just as importantly, his mental wellbeing has also improved.

“Just day to day, I want to be able to afford to do more things with my son, and it’s certainly made Christmas a lot easier,” Kyle said.

“Being out and about with a purpose has done great things for my confidence. The more I learn, the more confident I am. I have a strong work ethic, and now it feels like I’m really earning my own way. I can walk around with my head held high. “