29 June 2020

An APM Employment Services participant has shared his experience of overcoming the challenges of finding work and living with dyslexia at the age of 60.

Leigh from Kempsey, New South Wales, was unemployed for several years and also battling mental health issues when he joined the Disability Employment Services program with his local APM team.

With the support of the APM Kempsey team in gaining qualifications and job seeking skills over six months, Leigh said he was now more confident and happier.

"It's been a few years since I've been in the workforce, but it feels great, and I'm really enjoying getting back in the saddle and working at Macleay Options," he told the Argus.

APM is Australia’s largest provider of the Disability Employment Services program. Last year APM teams from more than 500 locations helped 60,000 job seekers find employment.

If you’re living with an injury, health condition or disability, and want to find a suitable job, contact APM to see if you’re eligible for the free program. 


 

Read more from the Macleay Argus

To hell and back: Macleay resident conquers health issues to find work​

Long time Kempsey resident Leigh has been to hell and back the last few years, fighting inner demons and battling to re-join the workforce at the mature age of 60.

After a long road, and with more than a little help from APM Kempsey, the long-time local conquered both his foes and found casual cleaning work with Macleay Options, and out at South Kempsey.

"It's been a few years since I've been in the workforce, but it feels great, and I'm really enjoying getting back in the saddle and working at Macleay Options," he told the Argus.

"I finally feel like I'm contributing and doing something worthwhile again.

"The cleaning job has given me a lot of new skills I can use at home as well; I clean and help my wife keep the house in good order."

When Leigh first walked into APM Kempsey, he had been battling dyslexia, mental health issues, and other health problems for years, but he believed the most significant barrier he faced would be his age.

Unfortunately, when I was growing up, learning disorders like dyslexia weren't recognised, so I never got the help I needed, it was sink or swim in a lot of ways.

APM worked with Leigh for six months, helping overcome his dyslexia and identifying the best way for him to get back into the workforce.

"Unfortunately, when I was growing up, learning disorders like dyslexia weren't recognised, so I never got the help I needed, it was sink or swim in a lot of ways," Leigh said.

"APM has really done a lot to build my confidence back up, they got me into a Certificate III in Cleaning Operations course and helped make my first resume.

"It's been an interesting journey, but the one thing I've learnt out of all this is to stay positive and not hide who I am.

"All my friends and close associations know about my struggles, this is who I am, and I don't want to hide it."

Working casually for nearly two months now, Leigh has never been happier and has been using his days off to pursue other passions.

"When I'm not working, I have quite a few hobbies like to pursue, woodworking, art, I keep busy," he said.

"I'm a bit of a jack of all trades now, I've worked in so many different industries I have a lot of skills."
 

Author

Corey Stephenson

For media enquiries, please contact

adrian.bradley@apm.net.au

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