Painting provides pathway to employment for MatchWorks job seeker

Geelong teenager Lachlan King has picked up a paintbrush, started an apprenticeship and transformed his life with help from local employment service provider MatchWorks.

Lachlan, 19, is seven months into a four-year painting apprenticeship and said his life is moving forward after moving out of home and renting a house in Belmont.

Geelong teenager Lachlan King has turned his life around after starting a painting apprenticeship.

Geelong teenager Lachlan King has turned his life around after starting a painting apprenticeship.

When he was younger, Lachlan would run away after arguments with his parents and he spent time living on the streets and couch-surfing.

Lachlan said he had experienced some “tough times” before connecting with East Geelong MatchWorks Employer Solutions Consultant Glenn Robertson and Employment Consultants Billy Shannon and Shari Payne.

“I didn’t particularly get along with any member of my family, I ended up sleeping on the street and couch-hopping from place to place,” Lachlan said.

“I didn’t have a lot going for me – no qualifications, no real skills in anything, and on top of that I just didn’t really care what anyone thought.

“I was expelled from school all because of bad altercations with people, and when I was younger I didn’t like people telling me what to do.”

Lachlan said his attitude changed while completing a Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways course last year, and he decided to work on getting his life back together including gaining his driver’s licence.

“I was pretty rude about having to do the course, I argued about it with Glenn, I argued about it with anyone really,” he said.

“Halfway through the course I realised I needed to pull my head in or else I’m really not going to do anything with my life, and I didn’t want that anymore.”

Glenn helped Lachlan improve his presentation, supported him at VicRoads and referred him to local painters for an apprenticeship.

Geelong painter Dom Montagnese of Domsil Painting Services agreed to give Lachlan a chance, and the pair clicked immediately.

“I worked there three days busting my back trying to impress Dom who then in the end hired me not because I was a hard worker, but because I was open to talking to everyone and I was able to sit down and be part of the team,” Lachlan said.

“If it wasn’t for MatchWorks and Glenn and Dom taking me on, I’d still probably be getting kicked out of my house and hopping from place to place.”

Dom said he was impressed by Lachlan’s attitude to work and outgoing personality.

“I found that Lachlan is a very approachable and an easy person to talk to – from day one he made a lot of progress and he’s the type of person that listens and asks questions,” he said.

“I’m very lucky to have someone on board that is willing to learn for the next three years and hopefully at the end of the apprenticeship he’ll go on to be a painter and decorator and be successful in whatever the future holds for him.”

Lachlan said his relationship with his family had also improved after starting work.

“Since I’ve moved out of home and got myself stable, I feel like they respect me a heap more and they don’t see me as the expelled kid or the drop out kid,” he said.

“They actually see something good in me now which is amazing – I never thought that would happen.”