Indigenous man Khalil Hammond had been searching for a full-time job for three years without any luck.
The 19-year-old left Kempsey High School during his Year 11 studies as he was ready to begin a working career.
After struggling to get his foot in the door, Mr Hammond contacted Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) for support.
AES Career Recruitment Officer Ricky Rudder was able to provide Mr Hammond with guidance, advice and encouragement and before long the agency put Mr Hammond in a position to start a week-long trial at local business Kempsey Signs in October last year.
Mr Hammond was given the opportunity to shine and he quickly showed Kempsey Signs owner Brent Stringer he was the future employee he had been searching for.
"Khalil is very eager to learn and doesn't shy away from doing the hard work," Mr Stringer told the Argus.
"If I ask him to do something, he does it immediately and never complains.
"I had been looking for a new employee for a few months and I wasn't sure what to do until Ricky got in contact with me and said he had the right person for me."
After impressing during the trial period, Mr Hammond was offered to stay on for the remainder of 2018.
"I was pretty impressed with Khalil so I put him on until the end of the year to make sure he was happy with the work too," Mr Stringer said.
"Everything went smoothly and we are both really happy so it has worked out really well."
Mr Hammond officially commenced his three-year apprenticeship as a signwriter on January 14 and admits this opportunity wouldn't have been possible without the help and support from AES.
"They did a lot for me, they kept in touch and made the opportunity real ," Mr Hammond said.
"I don't think I would be working here without them, they were great and very supportive."
Mr Hammond is already completing many of his tasks without supervision at Kempsey Signs.
"Khalil is already doing a bit of everything," Mr Stringer said.
"He is prepping panels, installing graphics on vehicles, laminating digital prints. We now supply and install window tinting to housing and offices, Khalil enjoys this work and it shows in his results."
AES currently has a good caseload of local people who are searching for work in the region, if you're looking to fill an apprenticeship, traineeship or any role contact the office on 65663900.
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