Our Story

A social enterprise founded to help tackle long-term unemployment

Established in February 2021, Assembled Threads is a social enterprise founded to help tackle long-term unemployment for disadvantaged groups by providing training and employment in garment manufacturing at an ethical wage. Our solution is to match a market need (the procurement of uniforms) to a social need (employment).

The Beginning

Our Pilot Programme

Assembled Threads began as a pilot collaboration for a community manufacturing hub with the Moonee Valley City Council and the Flemington Housing Estate. It ran for 12 weeks with partner Holmesglen delivering a two-week commercial skills training program. 

Council’s overall philosophy is local jobs for local people. When you create an opportunity where you build really strong partnerships between local industry, social enterprises, local government and other support services you create an environment for amazing projects like this to happen.

Carol Espinoza, Welcoming Neighbourhoods, MVCC

A Social Enterprise

On completion of the pilot phase, both Assembled Threads and Holmesglen saw an opportunity.  A decision was taken to formally establish a social enterprise to support and enrol the team in a newly created Apprenticeship in Clothing and Textile Production. Ten apprentices were employed for the commencement of an 18 month apprenticeship with Holmesglen focused on training the team to a skilled level as a garment technician. The apprentices working 3 days a week, with one day teacher training and two days inhouse training on the machines in the hub.

Trialling the Hub

Creating Ongoing Employment

With the hub model tested, Assembled Threads received a grant from the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) to fund two 8-week community hub pilot projects and training 20 new workers.

The pilots, established in Geelong and Brimbank, demonstrated the viability of the AT model as a valuable training program with the ability to create ongoing employment for disadvantaged people.

Before this, I was at home, jobless, I had no work, I was depressed at home. When I started working here it was really good for my health. I really enjoy it here." Employee, Geelong Pilot, 2022

Building Skills and Community

In March 2022, Assembled Threads continued to evolve and outgrew the Moonee Ponds Hub location moving to new premises in North Melbourne.

At the same time, the support of a Social Enterprise Support Grant through the Victorian Government, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, enabled the purchase of four items including a cutting table with manual fabric cutter and three specialist machines: a bar tack, an eyelet, and a snap fastener machine.

The investment in new premises enabled new equipment to be purchased though the grant which has provided the opportunity for the team to expand their skills and continuously learn.