As the rest of Australia sleep, Braden is already rolling up his sleeves, prepping his workstation and firing up ovens before the sun even rises over the plains of country Victoria.

At a busy suburban shopping centre on the outskirts of Bendigo, he is armed with a smile brimming from ear to ear and trading healthy banter with several work colleagues. He might seem distracted, but his jovial demeanour does not deter him from the task at hand - preparing Sandwich Loaf and Savoury Danishes before the usually busy lunch rush.

For the budding baker, the road that Braden has taken to realising his employment goal has been tricky, with several detours along the way.

Five years ago, Braden was unemployed and had frequently been in and out of work. He also faced the challenge of balancing the obligations of parenting and putting his head down to find a sustainable job.

“I was a stay at home dad with two young kids, and I needed to work - so I decided to get in touch with PeoplePlus as a volunteer job seeker,” says Braden.

He teamed up with our Bendigo Recruitment Consultant, David Baxter and began to work on several barriers which Braden needed to address.

“From the start, I noticed that his attitude wasn’t the best and this was reflected in his work commitments.

“This is something we worked on straight away,” says David.

Most importantly, David then mapped out an initial career pathway plan for Braden. They both agreed to focus on securing work in a local trade. He soon found work as a steel fixer where he worked for just under a year, but due to a lack of consistent and ongoing work, he was then back to square one.

It was at this time of reflection that things that Braden revisited his days of growing up and turned to some inspiration of what he had wanted to do as a kid.

“I had always wanted to be a baker and it was just something that I had always wanted to do, and slowly realised again.”

David then reached out to local employer Brumby's Bakery Epsom who had an established and successful working relationship with our PeoplePlus Bendigo team. The career pathway plan then took a massive step forward in a new direction. The employer was looking for an apprentice baker to work full-time.

“When I first mentioned this opportunity that was available, Braden jumped at it and took it with both hands, says David.”

For Braden, this was a turning point in his life. He soon passed his initial three-month probationary period and has recently completed a three-year apprenticeship where he is now a qualified tradesman and has never looked back.

“I’m now doing what I love and PeoplePlus has helped me with everything,” says Braden.

David reflects from the moment he was first assigned to work closely with Braden on helping him find the right path to a steady job.

“He has grown into a mature man who has developed leadership and his reliability is something that to this day that still earns him praise.

“Working early morning starts with a young family would not have been easy for anyone, yet he has stuck it out with flying colours,” says David.

PeoplePlus would like to congratulate Braden for this fantastic achievement and wish him continued success in the future.