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Premium Choice and the Youth Inc Success Story

Marketing Foodie - ACP

On his first year working anniversary and only a couple of days until the upcoming Youth Inc Golf Day it is only timely to share Zac’s success story.

Zac, a former Youth Inc student, now spends his days in the production and manufacturing department of Priority Health’s Warehouse. An integral team member in developing and manufacturing Priority Health’s food brand Premium Choice.  

The Youth Inc. Enterprise Academy is a learning alternative, and is designed specifically for young people aged 17-24 who are looking for something a bit different! An organisation focusing on helping young people to identify their unique talents, and enabling them to make the most of those talents in the context of a life that matters to them. It's about developing enterprise skills for work, business and life. A program built on the principles of practical, real world learning!

Fred Heidt, Youth Inc Director, and his team of learning enthusiasts share a passion for creating an informal learning environment designed to be tailored to cater for individual talents.

The Priority Health team have supported the Youth Inc initiative from its inception through donations and most importantly wanted to get more involved in the program. The Priority Health Managing Director’s team believe in not only providing the freshest tastiest products to the South Australian market but also in their corporate social responsibility to give back to the community. The Youth Inc program was a great opportunity for Enza Capozza, Priority Health Purchasing Manager to get involved, and with over 20 years’ experience in the social work industry her passion and knowledge made her an ideal candidate to get involved with Fred and the Youth Inc team.

Zac learnt about the Youth Inc program when he was 19 years old, he was unemployed and seeking assistance through a recruitment program. At the same time his family were in a state of turmoil, as his brother had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and was very unwell.  

Zac felt positive about his brother recovering however did not know what direction his life should take and did not want to work. Zac thought, “I don’t want to work because I don’t have to. In Australia we are lucky to have government support, people can live on the dole, and they are self-entitled.” In 2016 his brother passed away, he started to fall into a depressed state and the Youth Inc program was an avenue for him to get away from the negativity he was currently encountering. He describes the experience as “an opportunity for a group of young adolescents who were labelled as disadvantaged to utilise each other’s talents and share their experiences in an easy going environment”.  The program provided another avenue of work, enjoyment and skills to the students beyond what they had learnt in a classroom.

Zac attended fulltime weekly sessions, participating in creative activities for about 8 months. Enza and Fred were heavily involved in evolving a new chapter of his life. Together, Zac was able to develop a positive approach to life using their guidance. He understood the importance of living life to the fullest and started to question his behaviour. In fact he said to himself one day “how dare I waste my life?”

When Zac was approached by Enza and Fred and made aware of the employment possibility with the Priority Health team he was quick to seize the opportunity. Enza made him aware that it was going to be a challenge and different to his previous experiences. It was a role where he needed to learn time management skills, to be accountable for his actions and to work as a team.

Zac says “by being part of the Premium Choice production group I have learnt to work as part of a team. I have also learnt the importance of enjoying and taking pride in my work, particularly when it comes to handling consumable foods.”

“Youth Inc is focused on ensuring that education can be applied to the context of a meaningful life. Engaging young people in real world opportunities ensures they maximise both their personal growth, and their employable value” says Ben Trewren, Youth Inc Partnerships Manager.

“This is a truly rewarding experience, we are delighted and honoured to be partnered up with Youth Inc. As a business we need to ensure that the people we employ are passionate and enthusiastic about their work.  We like to invest in our employees and provide them with the necessary training to improve their professional development. This opportunity has also allowed us to work with young adolescents whom may not yet know where they want to take their working career and mentor them about the essential social skills required to succeed as an employee in small business” - Enza, Priority Health.

Today Youth Inc, Priority Health and the Premium Choice brand are working together to develop ways to transition and mentor students into the working world through fun food workshops. A workshop is being held in correlation to the Youth Inc Golf Day to teach students about the importance of healthy eating as well as provide an insight into the foods trending in the hospitality industry.