Employing people with a disability can make a positive impact on a workplace. It also helps a person build confidence, make new friends, achieve independence and learn new skills in a supportive environment.
CVGT Australia is proud of its role in helping people with a disability find meaningful employment.
Hayden has cerebral palsy but it doesn't prevent him from making a contribution to the workplace and giving back to his community.
Hayden enjoys work as a casual employee at Woolworths in Kyneton where he feels valued as part of the team. He is also senior time-keeper at Kyneton Football Netball, helps out at training and on the club's committee in 2018 and 2019.
"I want to go to work each day. I enjoy it. Work helps me feel valued in the community and I want to support my family," Hayden said. "I also want to show others that anything is possible if you want to really achieve. Being a role model for people with cerebral palsy and other people with disabilities is important to me."
CVGT Australia Bendigo branch manager Jennifer Richards has been assisting Hayden in the workforce for the past two years and is on track to helping him secure his next job, but she acknowledges there are still some barriers.
"With disabilities, there are the invisible and visible," Jennifer said. "We can support an employer in helping ensure their workplace is work-ready. We can help them access programs where modifications are paid for by the government, so it's not actually a financial burden for the business. There are also wage subsidies available."
Before COVID-19 forced global shutdowns on businesses, Kyle, who has Down syndrome, was working at the Belmont Hotel in Bendigo. He helped to prepare the venue by cleaning, stocking fridges and setting the tables - all the things that need to happen before patrons arrive. Then he was in the bar, serving up drinks and friendly hospitality.
Kyle said his job was fantastic. "My caseworker helped me to get a job and I love it so much. I am proud of myself doing this job. I enjoyed the people. I have a laugh. It's a good place to work."
Unfortunately, Kyle has not been able to attend his work place for a while and is keen to use his skills in a new position. "Fingers crossed this will be in the near future," Jennifer said. "He is skilled, has a lot to give and is looking forward to picking up more work."
CVGT Australia understands the importance of inclusive employment for every person and business; it benefits individuals, their family and the places they live and work. CVGT Australia provides Disability Employment Services in Bendigo and surrounding areas. Phone 132 848 or visit cvgt.com.au.