With higher than average unemployment in the Bega Valley in NSW, moving from Centrelink payments to a job in leading edge digital technologies might seem unlikely.
Yet that has been the experience for Isaac Lynnah, with local firm 2pi Software rethinking how to hire local people who may not have digital skills.
“The wonderful thing I found in 2pi Software is a company that welcomed me without the required skills of the industry,” Isaac said.
Instead, 2pi Software recognised that Isaac’s interests in logic and problem-solving meant he could be just what they needed.
Isaac volunteered to spend time at a digital co-working space set up by 2pi Software to foster and grow the Bega tech community.
After picking up basic skills, Isaac was able to negotiate with Centrelink to involve himself in 2pi Software supported non-profit community activities to meet his unemployment benefit obligations.
With further skills development, Isaac undertook paid work and became a key team member delivering software solutions to both the local council and educational organisations.
Isaac’s career has gone full circle. In his role as Community Development Manager, he is helping other Bega Valley locals to make the jump into tech jobs.
With funding from the Australian Government’s Regional Employment Trials program, 2pi Software has held a Code A Job Hackathon.
The Hackathon was designed primarily for people not in a job, but was also available to the public to learn more about coding, the cloud, the web and apps for mobile devices.
Following the Hackathon, a group of candidates was selected to participate in a coding and cloud work experience and learning program, with additional supported mentoring and assistance to build a tech skill portfolio.
Taking the time to work with potential candidates rather than the traditional recruitment process is paying dividends for 2pi Software, their new employees and the Bega Valley community.
“I was not turned away based on my CV or told I was unsuitable due to a lack of experience,” Isaac said.
“Instead I was encouraged to pursue my interests, given support to overcome my barriers to employment and granted patience to take the time to build my skills.
“This enabled me to achieve many of my goals and lifted me to the position I now hold. It is now my desire to replicate this process with as many people as possible.”
- Regional Employment Trials are occurring in 10 locations across Australia, providing job seekers and local communities with innovative support to grow employment in these regions. Read more about the Regional Employment Trials and where they are located.