Case studies

Case study

Breaking down barriers to employment

Long-term sustainable employment has long been a focus area for Downer, so when our New Zealand team noted a decreasing retention rate of people recruited through our government partnership programs they sought a solution.

In August 2017, they launched the ‘In Work Success’ program, which provides targeted support for at-risk employees throughout their first year of employment with Downer. In Work Success aims to enable people with significant employment barriers to gain, and maintain, ongoing employment with Downer.

Supporting Downer's entry level program, it provides targeted support to employees and assists them in transitioning onto a career pathway.

In Work Success provides support around issues like literacy, financial or wellness challenges to reduce the impact these issues can have on employment.

Since implementing the program, Downer’s employee retention rate of people recruited through our government partnership programs in New Zealand has increased by over 15 per cent. The program has also been recognised as an industry-leading initiative, winning the Workforce Experience Award at the HR Institute New Zealand (HRINZ) Awards.

The In Work Success program has had a significant impact on our people. Nelson, an In Work participant from Tauranga, found great value from the program, saying: “Downer has always told me how they can help me. I’ve had so much support all around me, they even helped me to move house when I was new to town and that matters because it’s been motivational for me to keep going. I’d say I’m at the highest point of my life at the moment and the best thing is, it can only get higher.”

This initiative demonstrates Downer’s contribution to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goal: #8 Decent work and economic growth