An Inclusive Recruitment Approach Changes Lives and Outcomes

Drake Editorial


Corporate profile

Kymbari is a small family-owned Australian beverage manufacturer located in Melbourne, Australia. The company has been in operation for a little over three years, producing ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages, along with wines and spirits.


The Challenge

As a family-owned business with a small number of employees, there is an increased demand for more help in the lead up to the holiday season each year.

Kymbari needed to build on their existing permanent workforce with casual workers, ensuring key staff were freed up to continue driving the growth of the business as annual production peaked.

As with comparable manufacturers in the Western Melbourne region, attracting and retaining a high-performing workforce can be an ongoing challenge.

With local competition for talent at an all-time high, Kymbari was struggling to maintain production and operational targets due to staff shortages, whilst simultaneously attempting to attract new casual employees.

Like most prospective employers, Kymbari tried online job boards but with little success. Market competition for high quality talent is such that workers can move from role to role without needing to apply for open positions.

Drake was Kymbari’s first choice when it came time to collaborate with a recruitment partner. Drake’s specialist blue-collar recruitment team took the initial brief, building a staffing solution specifically for this growing small business, factoring in their unique needs, as well as their future expansion plans.


How Drake helped 

Drake offered Kymbari one of our social procurement employment solutions and organised an introduction to Jobs Victoria. Drake is a proud partner of Jobs Victoria, a Victorian Government initiative that provides tailored services to help jobseekers facing barriers to employment get jobs with employers like Kymbari and stay employed. Jobs Victoria’s network of employment partners work with jobseekers to support them to be job-ready through mentoring, training and development. 


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The Results

Drake successfully placed Christian, who had been facing challenges, with an employment opportunity at Kymbari despite his 12 months of dedicated job searching. The stigma associated with long term unemployment had underpinned this individual’s success and ultimately his confidence.  The opportunity of a job has now turned his life around.

Understandably, the client had limited knowledge of the type of talent available from the Jobs Victoria program. What would the performance or reliability of an individual who had experienced long term unemployment be like? Kymbari was also concerned they may not have the time or resources necessary to invest in the employee to bring out his or her best.

Any concerns were soon allayed following the placement.  Christian was offered a role at Kymbari as an all-round Factory Hand, an entry level position with a strong pathway to future vocational opportunities.

The role was tailored specific to Christian, with Drake, Jobs Victoria and Kymbari working together at the start to ensure the necessary skills, values and vocational training were provided, and that a smooth transition was in place.

As part of the support provide by Jobs Victoria, Christian will be supported through his first six months with mentoring and guidance to help him thrive in his new job.

Having an extra hand to count on has proven invaluable to Kymbari. With Christian as part of the team, time-consuming tasks are now accounted for freeing management and wider team to redirect their efforts on expanding their business throughout Australia.

Over the next few years, Kymbari hopes to expand to one hundred employees – supported along the journey by individuals such as Christian, and Drake’s employee services stream.

When asked about his new role Christian said, “I’m really enjoying the work, especially the production runs.  I feel so much more positive.  Looking for work and having the constant rejections was tough”. 

Christian now has stable employment, a clear progression path, an employer invested in his success, and the ongoing support of Drake’s employee services. 


“We are very thankful for the relationship with Jobs Victoria and Drake and are proud to contribute to our social inclusion responsibilities as a small business,” said Rachael, Kymbari’s owner. “To us, this is all about giving people who struggle, opportunities and purpose.”


Breaking barriers to long-term employment

In addition to supporting the workforce needs of our clients, Drake Australia is equally focused on providing Australians, and the communities in which we operate, with sustainable employment opportunities.

Last year, Drake launched our new employee services stream under the banner of Drake Training. This stream was founded to assist disadvantaged Australians break through barriers to long-term employment. Working in partnership with local councils, family-owned businesses, multinationals, and state through Jobs Victoria and federal government through JobActive, Drake Training has successfully secured employment for hundreds of vulnerable individuals.

Drake works with participants to develop the skills needed to re-enter the employment market, whilst providing clients with an alternative talent stream they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.

Two or three-day workshops are typically conducted for up to 10 individuals in our various offices. Over 95% of disadvantaged Australians who have attended our workshops have gone on to achieve sustainable employment — a testament to the person-centred approach of the Drake. 

To find out more about Drake Employee Services streams or Drake Australia’s Talent Management Solutions, call your local Drake office.



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