From School to Sodexo!

From School to Sodexo!

Congratulations and welcome Matthew Gordon

12 April 2019

Sodexo’s School Based Traineeship Program aims to help young Australians
gain vocational qualification and earn a wage while working towards their senior secondary school certificate. We are celebrating another success story coming to us from Weipa, QLD.

This month, we are immensely proud to not only celebrate the program’s first graduate Matthew Gordon, but also to welcome him into full time employment with the Weipa Grounds Team!

‘Matty’ has graduated high school, attained a nationally accredited Certificate II in Horticulture qualification, securing full time employment with Sodexo. While Matthew required additional support in the workplace due to a disability, his personal challenges were never a hindrance to his passion, enthusiasm, work ethic and ability on the job. 

During the two year program, Matthew has developed skills across all areas of garden and town work – including landscape design, plant selection and reticulation installation of residential homes.  Patience, determination and safe operational support meant that Matthew now has permanent employment with a bright future with Sodexo.  As a disability-confident employer, Sodexo provides an inclusive and adapted work environment where people with disabilities can thrive and reach their full potential.

In a heartfelt letter, Matthew’s father shares in this proud moment.

“Matthew has struggled all through his schooling years.Towards the end of his schooling we started to think what Matthew could do for his employment.We found it very hard to come up with something because one of us would have to be with him with his disability.

Then one day he comes home from school with a Certificate II traineeship application from Sodexo.  He wanted to give it ago.  We knew it was a long shot because who wants to take on a person with a disability? Not many people do.

He got it!! With the help and patience of Sodexo and his Tafe/school teachers and long hours at home we got him through. Matthew has gone from two days/week to full time employment.

We can’t thank Sodexo enough for the support the team has given Matthew and the training they have given him.  The way they watch out for him and the patience to help him through a task. Matthew comes home from work hot and happy.  He is excited to go to the work the next day, which is a huge relief for us.  Matthew now has a purpose and is not just sitting at home.  Sodexo is like a second family for Matthew.  To Sandra and the crew, Thank you for your patience and hard work and for giving my son Matthew a fair go”. 

Sodexo Indigenous Liaison Manager at Weipa, Sandra Kemp, pictured with  Matthew Gordon on his graduation day, has worked closely with Matty throughout his traineeship.

“The Grounds team are a very close knit group and were very supportive with Matty and his challenges.  When Matty turned 18 this past year, he even chose to change his work schedule so that he could spend his birthday with his work colleagues.

Matty has become a constructive and proactive part of the team, actively engaging with safety improvement and hazard identification. The support he receives from the entire grounds team has contributed to Matty successfully passing his traineeship and feeling comfortable and confident in his work.  As a direct supervisor, Missa Levi has done great work with Matty ensuring he is well trained and supervised, assisting Matty with completing his assessments.  Missa’s assistance has been invaluable. It has been so rewarding to see Matty achieving his goals and to see this turn into full time employment”. 

Andrea Timmins, Funding Acquisition manager Sodexo Australia, adds her congratulations, stating “Well done Matthew, and a very warm thank you to Sandra, Mark and the Weipa grounds team for supporting Matthew’s journey – your support demonstrates Sodexo core values of Team Spirit, Service Spirit and Spirit of Progress – truly delivering Quality of Life Services to our team, clients and communities in which we operate”.