More than 50 people turned out to the recent disability employment business breakfast at the Star Hotel in Sale.
The event was a joint initiative between Wellington Shire Council and Advanced Personnel Management to inform local businesses and community support agencies about the benefits of employing people with a disability.
A number of guest speakers provided insights and experiences around being a disabled person employer and being a disabled employee, demonstrating that making people with a disability part of your workforce makes good business sense.
Star Hotel head chef Kayla Hardisty spoke about her experience in employing a person with a disability in the kitchen. “Brodie has been employed with us for around six months. She has some learning and physical disabilities,” she said.
“Myself and other members of staff have assisted Brodie and have made adjustments to accommodate how she can work best within the team.
“This has involved giving Brodie jobs that she can complete in a unpressured timeframe and taking time out to read written procedures and processes so she can absorb and learn more easily.
“Brodie is a great worker and loves her job. We love having her and are pleased to be able to give this opportunity to Brodie so that she feels included in the workforce and is contributing to the hotel.”
Another guest speaker, Tansy Bradshaw, knows first-hand about the difficulties of finding a job as a person with a disability and has worked through multiple health barriers throughout her life.
Tansy contacted APM last year seeking to find her dream job of working in a library and she is now working at Lucknow Primary School as a librarian.
School principal Marcus Batt said Tansy was “worth her weight in gold”.
“We think we have won the jackpot with her as a valuable employee,” he said.
One-in-five Australians lives with a disability and like all employees, people with a disability bring a range of skills, talents and abilities to the workplace so there is a huge potential workforce out there for employers.
Further information on employing people with a disability is available from the Job Access website, jobaccess.gov.au.