I grew up with my cousin who is autistic and even from that age I could see how challenging it was for him to get involved in the community. I studied Human Resources at university and before getting into a corporate environment I decided to work in the not-for-profit sector for a while…but I haven’t left it.
What I love about the current job I have at Workskills Illawarra is that there isn’t a typical day. As an Employment Consultant I have great flexibility which allows me to regularly meet new people, learn new information and go to new places.
Workskills, which is part of The Disability Trust, places people in a variety of roles from job trials to apprenticeships, casual, part time and full time positions. In its simplest form, my efforts are around helping people with disabilities to find employment.
This involves sitting down with clients individually and establishing a program to help them achieve their vocational goals. Once goals have been set I job search for my clients, meet with them on a fortnightly basis, organise any further training or education, prepare and conduct job search training with the client (eg, interview skills), coordinate work experience placements and arrange workplace modifications.
Before approving a client’s placement, I conduct a risk assessment at the employer’s premises. This gives me a good opportunity to get onto job sites and meet with employers, and also to establish contacts within the local community. I also present at schools to teachers, students and parents about how Workskills can help young students with disabilities.
I value the diversity in my role. My days are always changing and this position gives me the flexibility to control how diverse I wish my week to be. One day I could be in the office conducting interviews with clients, the next day I could be on the road meeting employers and warming them to the idea of employing my clients, or meeting with other organisations to share opportunities, or attending a conference to learn about important changes in the sector. Whatever I am doing, there is always personal contact that I really enjoy.
Seeing a client once a fortnight over a period of 2 years also means I develop a solid relationship with them and I’m there to share their highs and lows. There needs to be trust and I need to build up a rapport with them so we can work together to achieve their goals. I’ve seen some clients’ lives totally turn around after they start a job they get through our service. I love that about my job.
- TRUE STORIES: Joseph Majambere – Supporting people from all backgrounds to become who they wish to be.