Throughout her journey to find work, Kerry’s determination to secure employment never wavered.
50-year-old Kerry first approached her local APM Employment Services office in Townsville, Queensland so she could obtain her Heavy Rigid License to become a truck or bus driver.
Kerry experiences chronic pain in her knees, needing to use a walking stick for support.
This affected her ability to stand for long periods of time.
As a result, she felt her options for employment were limited to roles she could do only while sitting.
Kerry was eligible for support from the Disability Employment Services program, delivered by APM Employment Services.
This empowered her to look into and accept an opportunity to study, enrolling in a Certificate III in Business while managing her medical condition.
Kerry never missed an appointment with APM – either making it work face-to-face or on the phone if she was experiencing medical complications.
Up-skilling towards success
Although she did not have any previous experience in this industry, Kerry was excited by the thought of broadening her skill set.
Over the length of her study, Kerry was consistently ahead of her expected progress saying, “If it was possible to do more I would.”
In addition, she also had the option of a medical exemption to give her flexibility if she needed it.
Kerry’s resilience shone through as she worked towards her goals, telling her employment consultant Theresa she wasn’t ready to give in and she still wanted to work.
When she completed her qualification, Kerry was highly motivated to use her new skills.
Her long-term goals were to gain employment in administration using her transferable skills and the knowledge gained through her studies.
Theresa worked with Kerry helping her identify and apply for suitable roles, often doubling or tripling the minimum number of applications required.
Throughout the job interview process, Theresa was always there to support Kerry – even when the outcome wasn’t as she’d hoped.
“The only real goal I really had was to get employment, that turned out to be a little harder than I realised,” Kerry said.
“(Theresa) was there when I needed help with searching for jobs and was also there when I needed things for interviews.
Most of all, she was there when I needed a shoulder to lean on.”
Having been out of work for a long period of time, her confidence was shaken from time to time, but she was determined to succeed.
When Kerry moved south from Townsville to Dysart, she requested to continue working with Theresa as her employment consultant.
They had built such strong rapport over the last 18 months that she wanted Theresa to celebrate with her when she finally secured employment.
Promotion and positive changes
Shortly after moving, Kerry applied for a role with the Isaac Regional Council in Dysart.
After a successful interview, she was offered employment commencing August 2023.
In the beginning she worked in the kitchen, organising the catering, working slowly to increase her hours whilst transitioning back into employment.
Theresa helped Kerry prepare for her new role by accessing funding to purchase comfortable shoes, chef knives and work clothing for her.
Within a few weeks, Kerry was promoted to team leader, responsible for the catering, staffing and administration across Dysart, Emerald, and the Blackwater sites.
As part of her post placement support, Theresa continues to check in with Kerry to ensure she’s doing well.
Only a few weeks ago, Kerry let Theresa know that she had been able to put an offer on a house.
Reflecting on her journey with APM, Kerry describes her experience as “wonderful, the encouragement and advice has helped me so much,”
“I could never thank Theresa enough for all she did for me. Life is looking great, and I have found myself in a terrific job and I couldn’t be happier.”
Injury, illness or disability and need a job?
You could be eligible for help in finding a suitable job from APM Employment Services, just like Kerry.
As Australia’s largest provider of Disability Employment Services we help people with permanent or temporary disabilities, injuries, mental health conditions and other diagnosed barriers which may prevent them finding successful employment.
Register with us today, or call our team on 1800 276 276 to get started.
Looking for staff?
We don’t just support job seekers, we also help thousands of employers find reliable staff and access government incentives when hiring new employees.
If you’re an employer, you could access wage subsidies and funds for training and workplace modifications when hiring a person with disability for full or part-time work.
Plus, you will be enhancing the diversity of your business while making a real positive difference in a person’s life.
Get in touch with your nearest APM Employment Services team, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.