Working at one of Australia's largest facilities management companies not only provides many employment opportunities, but it can also launch your career into other areas.

That's what Roja Shrestha and Anthony Mikhael discovered after joining Ventia as cleaners on our City of Sydney contract.

Both of them were looking for an entry level job into the business, but Ventia Service Delivery Manager Marilyn Baker doesn't look at her staff as just cleaners - she sees their potential and recognises they may have hidden talents.

"About 85 per cent or our cleaners are migrants and for years people have seen them as just cleaners, but many of them do cleaning to make ends meet while they're re-training to get Australian qualifications," Marilyn said.

"We have a lot of cleaners with other qualifications, and I don't like to hold people back.

"So, if we've got opportunities in the company, I want to go to the people we have first, as it's better to keep that talent in our own company.

"They know the contract and they know the sites and the people."

Marilyn said cleaners were often shy and reserved and don't promote themselves or boast about their skills, so she takes the time to find out more about them.

"If you want to retain people, you need to give them opportunities," Marilyn said.

"I like seeing people succeed, especially when they come from the cleaning field, and it's incredible what you find out about people when you press them.

Being a cleaner is not an easy job, but they turn up each day with a smile on their face and the quality of their work is amazing.

Marilyn said all cleaning supervisors had previously been a cleaner, like Anthony, who started working on the contract about 18 months ago.

He now manages up to 40 staff after working as a supervisor in the security and hospitality industries.

After deciding to leave those industries and work drying up due to the pandemic, cleaners became a highly sought after so he made the switch.

Less than one year into the job, Marilyn asked him to apply for a job as an Area Supervisor.

"Marilyn has been very supportive, as she looks out for roles that might be suitable for us," Anthony said.

He has now found his niche within Ventia and wants to stay with the company and progress.

"I like working for Ventia and the people are good, and the company puts time into you," Anthony said.

The managers at Ventia are easy to talk to as well, there's no barriers and you can just pick up the phone.

Roja Shrestha & Anthony Mikhael pictured in front of Sydney's Town Hall

Roja came to Australia from Nepal in 2018 to study accounting and applied for a job as a cleaner as she knew the work would be available.

After two years, she is now a finance administrator on the contract.

"Marilyn looks for other opportunities for people and sends us emails to apply for suitable jobs within the company," Roja said.

"They give training here and show you how to do your job and provide elearning.

Whoever wants to grow, there's always an opportunity for those people.

Roja recently completed her Masters in Accounting and she wants to stay with Ventia and progress in her career.

"I can use what I studied here, and I want to learn," Roja said.

"I started as a cleaner and now I'm a finance administrator and I'd like be an accounting manager.

They're always encouraging here, there's a dynamic culture and different nationalities, everyone gets an opportunity and there's no bias.

Servicing the City of Sydney

Ventia provides all hard and soft facilities management services on behalf of the City of Sydney, including maintenance and cleaning, for 251 of the city's assets. This includes facilities such as community centres, libraries, leisure facilities, depots and public toilets, as well as its commercial buildings and the iconic Sydney Town Hall."

To apply for a cleaning role on the City of Sydney contract, visit: