Creating life-changing employment opportunities for young people

Shadab Safa

Employment Empowers participant and Shout Out speaker

Like a growing number of young people, Shadab Safa was a 21-year-old university student struggling to find employment. After completing high school, he started his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce at Monash University and started applying for jobs in his field to support himself financially.

“I was just not having any luck, I just kept getting rejection after rejection so I decided to take a step back and get some help,” Shadab says.

He came across Employment Empowers, a CMY program that provides the fundamental first step for young people looking to secure meaningful employment by supporting them into paid opportunities.

Through the program, Shadab was matched with a volunteer mentor who provided 1:1 support to help him to become work ready and to find employment.

“Everything I’ve gained from my mentor has been valuable. He helped me out with my resume and also forwarded my cover letter to a few people he knew who worked in Human Resources, so that I could get some feedback. They gave me lots of tips about where I could improve and that helped to clarify things,” Shadab says.

Shadab’s mentor also organised meetings with industry professionals, giving him the opportunity to connect with employers and develop his communication skills.

“Learning to talk to different people, networking and knowing their expectations is something you learn as you go along, but it’s definitely good to know those things before you start.”

Since resuming his job hunt with his newly-acquired skills, Shadab finally scored a few interviews and successfully landed a role with Commonwealth Bank as a Personal Banker in August 2019.

“I wouldn’t have gotten this job without the help of my mentor. I was really appreciative that he prioritised our relationship although he worked full-time, it’s been really helpful,” Shadab says.

Since the program, Shadab has also trained to become one of CMY’s Shout Out speakers, sharing his story and perspectives at a range of events across Melbourne. He has also started his own podcast series, Fhilosophy Fridays, where he talks to a young guest speaker about experiences that have influenced their projects. The podcast is available on Spotify and YouTube.

Employment Empowers also partners with employers who are looking to provide opportunities to young job seekers, like Shadab, who are keen to make a valuable contribution to their workplace.

If you are an employer looking for staff, a young person who needs help finding employment, or a working professional with skills to share, get involved here: