Seeking a new direction

Patrons of Healthy Life gym are sure to know who Nicholas is.

He’s “a member of the family here” according to his employer Wendy.

After moving from Queensland to Western Australia, he was uncertain about his goals for his career and how he could achieve them.

Wanting to ‘find his feet’, Nicholas sought out APM Employment Services to help him find more sustainable employment.

With guidance and encouragement, 22-year-old Nicholas has found a steady starting point to grow.

"Disability is just a different kind of ability"

Read a full transcript of this video.

Going above and beyond

Nicholas encountered difficulties looking for work by himself.

Seeking a role in the hospitality industry proved especially difficult with the lasting impact of COVID-19 lockdowns.

While applying for roles, he found some employers were not open to hiring people with disability or who needed a different approach to communication, giving instructions and roles in the workplace.

Nicholas lives with autism and was determined to find a starting point for his career.

He had several short-term work experiences, but none which had sustained him long-term.

It was clear from to his Employment Consultant Mark he had a strong ability to interact and engage with people and enjoyed social work environments.

“When I first met Nicholas, he didn’t know what would suit him” Mark said.

“I got to know who he was, what he loves and motivates him.”

Having previously assisted Healthy Life, Mark knew it would be a supportive workplace and ideal for Nicholas.

“I think they’re very accepting of my disability” Nicholas said.

Nicholas’ work involves cleaning, detailing, and sanitising all the gym equipment and facilities, often chatting with patrons while he does so.

During his first week, Mark visited Nicholas and stayed with him for the first 30 minutes of each shift to run through his to-do list and ensure he had everything he needed.

Employer Wendy said she “didn’t even realise he has a disability.”

Wendy added that Nicholas often comes in early “He enjoys his work, and he carries his work out happy.”

“He carries out his duties above and beyond.”

"We’re a happy family here"

A bright spark

Through the Disability Employment Services program delivered by APM, Nicholas has found sustainable employment.

APM Employment Services has supported more than 120,000 job seekers with an injury, illness, or disability into work over the last two years.

“If a person has a disability, it doesn’t prevent them from doing or carrying out a normal role. I think they should be given the same rights and opportunities as everyone else” Wendy said.

She describes how hiring Nicholas has had a positive impact, opening the team at Healthy Life’s perspectives on people with disability:

“He comes in and we automatically have a smile on our faces when we see him” she said.

“Nicholas is a wonderful person, he brings a lot of joy, he’s humorous and he’s a bright spark.”

With the right support to find employment, Nicholas feels a lot more positive about the future.

From a shy an uncertain beginning, he’s become an enthusiastic and confident young man who is a valued employee.

"I definitely feel more positive now"

Are you eligible for Disability Employment Services?

You can join APM for Disability Employment Services through Centrelink.

When you visit Centrelink, they carry out an employment assessment and if you're eligible, they will recommend you to a Disability Employment Services provider. Remember to ask to join APM so you get the best service when searching for employment.

To be eligible for Disability Employment Services, you must be:

  • An Australian resident aged from 14 to 65
  • Receiving an income support payment, disability support pension, an NDIS participant or an eligible school leaver
  • Able to work between eight to 30 hours per week (with support when required)
  • Not studying full time (unless you’re an eligible school leaver)
  • Not already working at or above your assessed work capacity

If you're already receiving an income support payment, you can also register with us directly.

If you’re with another provider, but would like to change to APM, contact us and our teams will be happy to speak to you.

When you visit Centrelink, they carry out an employment assessment and if you are eligible, they will recommend you to a Disability Employment Services provider.

Remember to ask to join APM so you get the best service when searching for employment.

If you’re with another Disability Employment Services provider, but would like to change to APM, contact us and our teams will be happy to speak to you.


Frequently asked questions

Who is APM?
How does Disability Employment Services work?
Who qualifies for Disability Employment Services?
What to expect
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