Hire someone with a disability, Michael Langdon urges firms

BENDIGO Access Employment chief executive Michael Langdon is encouraging local businesses to consider hiring people who live with a disability. 

At a Diversity at Work lunch at The Capital yesterday, Mr Langdon said a job was “at the centre of aspirations” for people with a disability.

 “People with a disability want what the rest of us want from work – a sense of purpose,” he said.

“By hiring people with disabilities we can give all Australians the sense of purpose and worth which comes from a good job.”

Mr Langdon said research showed that people with disabilities were more loyal to their job.

“There are a lot of positives – there are fewer occupational health and safety incidents, there is less absenteeism and there is a higher level of engagement in the workforce,” he said. 

Russell Robertson, director of local law firm O’Farrell Robertson and McMahon, recently employed someone with a disability. 

Mr Robertson said the employee, Nick Fitzpatrick, had completed a traineeship and had since been offered ongoing employment. 

“The staff have embraced working with Nick and revel in his achievements,” he said.

“Nick performs very effective work and it is delightful to see him achieve so much.”

Mr Langdon said he hoped employers would think about the importance of employing a person with a disability. “The aim of the lunch was to make employers aware of people with disabilities,” he said later. 

“Currently one in five Australians have a disability and yet there are only about 54 out of 100 that have a job, whereas 83 out of 100 of able-bodied people have a job.

“What we are saying is for employers to look to people with disabilities the next time they have a vacancy.”

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