Jack Yang gives young people a chance

Meet the team: (From left) Asma Elnour, Juliana Safari, Eliza Bester, Siome Liu, Valen Martin, Maria Kacavenda, Andrew Kenttala and Humayoon Kamali.

Owner of the newest restaurant on Fryers St, Jack Yang, has hired 18 students from Greater Shepparton Secondary College to work the floor of Okami Shepparton, with the intention of hiring more students as business grows.

While looking for staff in the lead-up to opening the new restaurant, Mr Yang approached the career adviser at GSSC to give young people the opportunity.

An advertisement was on the GSSC school bulletin, which saw Mr Yang receive a flood of applications from eager young people, many of them going for their first job.

Mr Yang has taken on as many students as he can — giving quite a few their first job — and will try to provide flexible work arrangements for students to juggle their study loads around their new jobs.

“There were more applications that we received, but because it's only a small size business, there's only so many people that we can onboard so far,” he said.

“We’ve kept all the resumes so as the place gets busier, if the staff members due to their study load need a bit of time off every now and then, we can welcome more members in to the system.”

The new hires at Okami Shepparton said it had been hard to find work that fitted around their school commitments, and employers to take them on with little to no experience, and it was refreshing to have local business reach out and offer these employment opportunities.

“Teenagers are capable of doing jobs that are available, but they (employers) don't want you because they want everyone with like experience," GSSC student and new Okami Shepparton employee Valen Martin said.

One of the team members in particular, whom Mr Yang said had been performing really well, told him that she had applied at eight places but was not able to get a job.

“But we were happy to welcome her in,” Mr Yang said.

“Without a place to start, where are (young) people supposed to get experiences from?

“We're here to provide opportunities to the maximum capacity that we can handle.”