22 June 2017
The Disability Employment Services program to promote the benefits of hiring people with disabilities to local businesses and employers was hugely popular when it was launched in May.

APM's team of employment consultants set a target of finding 30 people with a disability employment within four weeks.

They have now extended the program after 37 job seekers were hired.

The Toowoomba Jump Start included local employers sharing their experience of hiring people with disabilities and the benefits it brought to their business.

The Toowoomba Chronicle has reported on the story of APM client Melinda Browne who has been a valued member of staff at Toowoomba North State School for two years.

The Chronicle reports...



City program successful in gaining disabled work

WHEN Melinda Browne was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at 42 she found it difficult to gain employment.

She worked in a car yard until it closed and was then hired by Toowoomba North State School as a cleaner.

She has worked there for two years and said it was the best workplace she could have hoped for.

"It is a very nurturing environment and the staff are very hard working and dedicated. They have made me feel like part of the family," she said.

"I love my job and I am so thankful that someone took a chance on me."

Advanced Personnel Management Employment Services is hoping to jump start employment in Toowoomba for those with a disability.

In May it launched its Jump Start campaign, aiming to create 30 new jobs for people with a disability in four weeks.

Already 37 jobs have been created and because of the success of the campaign it has been extended, running until mid-July.

APM corporate affairs general manager Adrian Bradley said he wanted to set up people with local employers.

"Unfortunately for those with disabilities, employment rates are quite low and they struggle to find jobs," he said.

"People with a disability make excellent employees because they are passionate and take fewer holidays and sick days."

Toowoomba North State School principal Kaarin Littleton said she would encourage any business owner to give people with a disability a chance.

"Mel is just fantastic. She contributes very highly not only to her own role but to the role of others," she said.

"When we have training she always makes herself available and she is such a reliable employee.

"She comes to work every day to do her best and it is such a positive attribute for us."

Mrs Littleton said she invited anyone who was interested in hiring someone with a disability to visit the school to see how well their arrangement worked.

Employers can also receive free government financial backing when employing someone with a disability.

There are many financial incentives available to recruit new employees, trainees and apprentices with a disability which could mean up to $21,000 for businesses.

For more information on the campaign phone 46388901 or phone Toowoomba North State School on 46178333.

(Photo: Toowoomba North State School principal Kaarin Littleton and Melinda Browne. The Chronicle)

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Adrian Bradley
adrian.bradley@apm.net.au
0419 823 659

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