HE MAY have given a young bloke the key he needed to a build a solid future, but for small business owner Will McVeigh, the value goes both ways.
When he heard Tony King was desperate for a job, and for someone to give him a chance, Will instantly wanted to help.
As the owner of Warwick air-conditioning and refrigeration business Subzero Air-conditioning, he knew offering Tony an apprenticeship could be the golden ticket he needed to get his life on track.
"I found out through a friend of a friend that Tony was looking for work and was keen to have a go at an apprenticeship so I put him on," Will said.
But as any small business owners will agree, putting on an apprentice is no cheap commitment.
It was then he learned of the Queensland Government's Youth Boost program, which incentivises businesses to put on apprentices and assists with funding throughout the year.
Little did he realise just how positive this would be for his business.
"It made a huge difference. Not only could I help him out and give him work, but with the money I was able to buy him some tools, reimburse some money back into the business to do a bit more marketing to get more business, and having Tony meant I could take on more work so it just keeps spinning around in a cycle," he said.
"It's allowed me to expand my small business because I can say yes to new work now because I have the manpower."
Will said even beyond his business, the wider community benefited.
"We buy a lot of our materials through places in town, so by having more work we're able to continue to do that which is reinvesting money back into the local economy," he said.
Tony had previously done some work with a company in Toowoomba, an hour's drive from Warwick, but an apprenticeship on home soil meant he didn't have to move away for work.
"It's really rewarding to know we've helped him, and we know how much of a difference it has made for him and he appreciates that, but it's been so well worth it," Will said.
He encouraged other small business in Queensland to take advantage of the Youth Boost program before it wrapped up in October this year.
"You can get hesitant to put someone else on, but if you can afford to put someone on and get them all the tools and whatever they need, it reaps rewards for a small business - especially if you're trying to expand," he said.
State Treasurer the Hon Curtis Pitt announced in the recent budget that as of July 1, the Queensland Government's Youth Boost payment program is eligible to all employers in South East Queensland who hire an unemployed young person (aged 15-24) between now and October 31, 2017.
A total of $20,000 for a full-time employee is available under the program, with payments done in increments: $6000 after four weeks of continuous employment, another $7,000 after 26 weeks and a final payment of $7,000 on completion of 52 weeks continuous employment.
For more information on the Youth Boost program and to apply, head HERE.