Twin brothers and qualified chefs, Ben and David Allcock, run catering business Smoking Brothers along with Ben’s wife Ellie. They also run the bustling restaurant and take away, Elwood’s Eatery in Orange. Over the years they have employed a number of young people through OCTEC’s Workforce Australia Transition to Work (TtW) program.
National Program Manager, Charissa Mossop, said the partnership is valuable for the local TtW team, in order to continually provide Participants work with an employer they trust.
“Smoking Brothers are an impressive team. Ben and David have continued to diversify over the years and the business has grown, providing more opportunities for the young people we work with,” she said.
Running such a demanding business, Ben Allcock has appreciated the support OCTEC provides with vetting applicants and accessing industry-specific business support for training.
He said this all “creates a healthy working environment” for the employee, current staff and any new staff member like Michael Bloomfield.
“Staffing has become extremely hard now. It’s not just hospitality, it’s a broad factor. The more help that’s out there to help you find great staff like Michael, the better,” Mr Allcock said.
He said OCTEC’s Biz Support packages assist in the provision of training.
“They mean that we don’t need people to always hit the ground running on day one. There really is that flexibility that we can get the guys in for a good month or two and really their job is to just learn our business,” he said.
“Most of the time (Transition to Work Participants) have a better attitude and are ready to work.”
Ms Mossop says that the partnership with Smoking Brothers and other local businesses is set to continue well into the future.
“Ben is brilliant to work with as an employer. He appreciates what Transition to Work offers, as well as how it can work for him and potential staff. In return we benefit from working with an employer who knows what they want and sees the potential in our participants,” she said.
“We appreciate forging long term relationships with local businesses. We are able to adapt to meet business needs as they change, with the COVID pandemic having a considerable impact on how business is done,” said Ms Mossop.
TtW is an employment program for 15 to 24 year olds who are looking for employment, including apprenticeships and traineeships, or to connect with ongoing training and education.