Creating pathways for multicultural youth

Creating pathways for multicultural youth

Creating pathways for multicultural youth

The Pathways to Work program is seeing positive results as multicultural young people continue to thrive in the workplace.

Formed in 2016, AFL SportsReady and the Centre of Multicultural Youth (CMY) joined forces under the Jobs Victoria Employment Network to launch a program designed to provide opportunities for young people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Since its inception the program has seen many young people commence traineeships and direct employment opportunities.

Participant of the program, Mustaf Ali, began his traineeship with AFL SportsReady in 2016, and has since become a much valued member of the team.

‘This employment has helped me add more to my resume, better my English and has made me more confident,’ said Mustaf.

20 year old Mustaf, left his war torn home in Somalia at the age of six with his older brother in search for a better life. He moved to Ethiopia where he was cared for by the Somalian community and financially supported by his Aunt in Australia.

‘Our Aunt eventually sponsored my brother and I to come to Australia in 2010. We could not read, write or speak English and we had never been on a plane. When arriving in Australia it was a completely different world and the English language was hard to master. I was only 15 years old.’

Shortly after arriving in Melbourne Mustaf began to learn English and embrace the Australian culture as best as he could. After successfully completing year 12 he was ready to look for work.

‘I needed to get a job so that I could pay my bills but I was struggling. I would apply for 15 jobs a day that I thought I could do. Most of the time I would get no response from my applications and when I did attend interviews (approximately 10 for the whole year) I was always unsuccessful. It was so heartbreaking, I felt very unhappy and wanted to give up’

This sad reality is all too real for many new Australians and despite their determination to contribute in the workforce they are often relegated to the unemployment line.

The Pathways to Work program aims to change that.

‘One day I received a call from a high school teacher. She told me about CMY and AFL SportsReady and explained the Pathways to Work Program. I attended workshops in resume and cover letter writing and interview preparation. I was referred to AFL SportsReady who were looking for a trainee. I interviewed and got the job! I can still not believe I could get an opportunity like this. It has been life changing for me.’

Through his experience Mustaf has gained a Certificate IV in Business and is expected to graduate from his one-year traineeship, which has given him a myriad of skills and knowledge to aid him on his future career endeavours.

The program not only benefits the young person, it also encourages cultural diversity workplaces across the state.

TGI Fridays, one of the first host employers to partake in the program, has taken on four participants as part of the program.  General Manager, Training and Development, Katie Walters, commends the initiative.

‘We work in a multicultural company, having almost 1000 restaurants in 62 countries, so we truly value a diverse workplace and the way that this can enhance our guest experience.

The program has given us a new recruitment option with well organised interviews and prepared applicants. The additional support given to the restaurant for the induction and on-boarding period is helpful as well. The business has hired some long-term team members that add value to our diverse team every shift,’ said Mrs Walters.

For more information please contact AFL SportsReady Recruitment Consultant, Joshua Power on 04081391219


To find out more about the diverse range of rewarding careers available through vocational education and training, and watch the real skills for real careers video, visit


AUTHOR: Marissa Pagliarello
DATE: 15TH OF Feb 2018
IMAGE: Mustaf Ali, Kevin Sheedy, Ahmad Suleiman and Ali Nazari.