16 February 2018

Stuart, who uses a wheelchair, is a recent addition to the team at bicycle store Giant Rockhampton after signing up with APM to help find work.

As well as matching Stuart to jobs he was interested in, APM helped his new employer, Joel Robinson, gain access to government funding for workplace modifications.

The Queensland business is a perfect demonstration of the benefits for job seekers and employers partnering with APM for employment services.

As well as helping job seekers find work, employers get help to support new employees, including where eligible, workplace modifications and special equipment.

Stuart’s story was recently reported by The Morning Bulletin

Employers show there's a job out there for everyone

"IT'S NOT a disability, he is a great guy, he is normal,” Joel Robinson.

Giant Rockhampton owner Joel Robinson has more than positive words to say about his employee, Stuart Harreveld.

Stuart, who uses a wheelchair, recently came into employment at the North Rockhampton bicycle store.

"It's been good, it was a match made in heaven,” Joel said.

To accommodate for Stuart's wheelchair, Joel has put in various access ramps and done some building structure changes.

Joel was able to gain some government funding for the ramps with the help of Stuart's employment agency APM.

"The landlord is fantastic, he is happy to let us do whatever, he is very open,” he said.

Not employing Stuart because of his disability was not something that ever crossed Joel's mind.

"I was just more focused on how we could accommodate him,” Stuart said.

In his true element at Giant, Stuart says he loves what he does.

"It's good to get out and about again,” he said.

The 38 year-old said he has never let his wheelchair stop him from getting a job.

"It wasn't hard to find a job because of it,” Stuart said.

Stuart works part time as a retail assistant for about 20 hours a week.

"I do computer work, talk to people on the phone, talk to people when they come in,” Stuart said.

"Whatever is needed.”

Stuart doesn't see himself as disabled.

"It's just normal. Joel and Chaddy are good, they built the ramps for me and changed the locks and security so I can do opens and closes,” he said.

With a loyal, built up customer base at the store, Stuart said he has gotten to know some regular customers.

"All the cyclists know each other,” he said.

And he doesn't feel like anyone treats him any differently - and not that they should.

"I don't even register if people give me that look when they see my wheelchair anymore, I don't see it,” he said.

And when isn't busy selling parts for off road, mountain or endurance bikes and more Stuart enjoys playing wheelchair basketball.

Stuart is involved in the Rockwheelers team who play at Hegvold Stadium and travel across the state for games.

"It's good fun,” he said.

"You can run into people without getting into trouble.”
 

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