Bright Employment was founded in 2012 by ex-hedge fund manager Tim Davies and his wife Larissa Davies after watching a documentary on new migrants to Australia. Something in it struck a chord: he thought – these people have been through hell to get here, and then we dump them on welfare and leave them there?
Tim spent 2012 – 2013 researching data about new migrants and found the facts sobering. He and Larissa founded the business in October 2013, starting with the agriculture sector and then moving into hospitality.
In agriculture, over 90% of summer jobs are filled by these foreign workers, leaving little work available for local migrants, who often bring farming skills to Australia from their home countries. This creates a significant financial burden for state and federal governments, as migrants become trapped on the ‘flywheel of welfare dependence’ and lose their skills, their work ethics and finally their hope of a better life in Australia.
Bright has worked on building up the skills base of local migrants through targeted training prior to securing work as well as pathways to employment via socially minded farmers such as Brown Brothers and Reid Fruits.
From February 2014, Bright expanded its focus to the hospitality sector in NSW. With almost 250,000 new jobs forecast by 2020, it provides local migrants with a significant opportunity to build a career in Australia. Many migrants coming to Australia also bring cooking and service skill experience with them from the country of origin, providing an opportunity to undertake RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) assessment and reducing overall training costs. We initially established a training program in conjunction with the Salvation Army in Auburn training 65 people in kitchen skills between July 2014 and April 2015.
Bright Hospitality was set up as a Not For Profit enterprise focussing exclusively on training and providing pathways to meaningful employment in the hospitality industry for as many marginalised people as possible. Bright Hospitality now operates the training program at Wesley Mission’s Edward Eagar Lodge, providing food service to the residents. Our sister company Bright Employment helps graduates find a job upon completion of the program.
“We’ve found over the last couple of years working with Bright Employment that the workers that they’re providing are really keen – they’re keen to be here, keen to learn new skills, and also their attitude on a day to day basis is really good, really positive, It’s great having them around.”
Michael Griffith, Brown Bothers Milawa, Kayena Vineyard Manager
ABC24, January 2015
“Ex-hedge fund manager turned refugee champion has ditched corporate life to help migrants and refugees secure employment and get off welfare. With the help of some high profile Sydney chefs, a group of inspiring students is not only learning how to cook, but provide meals for this in need.”