Finding the Right Fit is Key in Bringing Employers and Jobseekers with a Disability Together
Across Australia, during the week of November 25 – 29, jobseekers with a disability and employers are coming together for one day to connect, explore each other’s potential and find mutual opportunities.
This is the aim of AccessAbility Day, a government initiative now in its third year. It’s an obligation-free day for employers to experience the potential jobseekers with a disability can bring to their workplaces, and for people with a disability to experience a career aligning with their interests.
Philip Allnutt from STEPS in Alice Springs says there are mutual benefits for both employed people with a disability and the employers who hire them when they find the right fit.
“The feedback we hear from employers is that people with a disability are very reliable and highly valued team members that contribute greatly to the work place,” Philip says.
“Having an employee with a disability also creates empathy and awareness in others along with a desire to learn and understand more about disabilities.”
STEPS Education and Training is a provider of the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program which provides language, literacy and numeracy assessment and training to eligible students, which Philip says is the first step towards finding meaningful employment.
“Our role is to work with clients to set goals and then find the path to achieving them. This involves a discussion about the client’s work experience and career choices and from there we work out an action plan to help reach their aspirations with a reverse marketing approach.”
While there are many clients who Philip says have benefited greatly from joining the workforce, there is one in particular – Ben, a word-loving bookworm – who stands out as having found his perfect fit at the Alice Springs Library.
“Ben had a huge fascination with Doctor Who,” Philip says. “He’d bring all the Doctor Who books from the library to our SEE classes and we’d use them to teach language and literacy. He was a keen reader and we wanted to help him with that interest.”
Ben’s attendance at the SEE program four days a week included a work experience component at the Library, de-commissioning books.
“The position was one that came with a lot of responsibilities and was very meaningful work. Ben’s confidence grew substantially through this placement, empowering him independently to become work ready,” Philip says.
Employers interested in discovering the potential of jobseekers with a disability should call STEPS on 1300 078 377.
For more information about STEPS’ Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program or to find a course near you, contact us on 1300 131 965.