Nova Employment’s catchy slogan has come to mean so much to job seekers and employers over the past five years of the jobs campaign.
From family-owned shops to warehousing, manufacturing, real estate and hospitality, people with hearing impairment, Asperger’s, Downs Syndrome and intellectual disabilities are getting a ’fair go’ - the right to work, earn money and pay taxes, like everyone else.
Last week Nova Employment launched its annual Sutherland Shire job drive at Eventhouse Cronulla.
Guest speakers at the launch included Sutherland Shire Mayor Cr Carmelo Pesce who encouraged people “not to dismiss people with disability”.
The gathering also heard from the managing director of a small international freight and logistics company in Caringbah employs 10 staff in Sydney and three in Melbourne.
Jim Merrigan, from MGL Logistics, said his company who said ‘‘it takes an open mind, and a little courage, to embark down this road, but once you do there’s no looking back’’.
In 2017, having heard the Nova Employment radio ad’s many times, he decided to contact Nova to see if his company could get inovolved in the program.
Sue Molloy from Nova in Caringbah was keen to tell Mr Merrigan all about a great candidate she had.
She lined up a meeting with Zac, 22, from Caringbah who was partially blind and had Aspergers, Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy to contend with.
Zac had achieved a Certificate 3 in Information, Digital Media and Web Technology, and had secured a Diploma in information Technology, Systems Administration.
‘‘We decided to take Zac on for 8 hours a week to see if we could both work things out, and to see if he actually liked working in the Freight & Logistics industry,’’ Mr Merrigan said.
‘‘We actually had no idea, at the outset, what work we were going to give Zac to do.
‘‘Taking on somebody with no experience, and who faces a lot more challenges than your regular new hire, forces you to evaluate what you need them to do, to really think about why you’re doing this, and what “work” will be useful for both parties.
‘‘The first thing we got Zac to do was update our monthly sailing schedules on our website, and post anything newsworthy to our Facebook and Website Blog pages. It was enough to keep him busy, and to start to understand a little bit about our Industry as he learned about ports, vessel names and transit times into Australia.
‘‘Zac is now working for us 5 hours a day, 3 days a week. He sits at our front desk and greets any couriers or visitors that drop by. He answers the phone, and has IT support, social media, website marketing, plus operational duties (such as providing key customers with weekly shipment status reports) to perform for us.
‘‘He is currently working towards achieving his Certificate 3 in International Freight Forwarding, which we’ve organised through an external training organisation for him.
‘‘We really couldn’t be happier with the way things have worked out. Everyone in our office loves him, and our customers love him, and his ‘story’!’’
If you feel your business can contribute to Nova’s 100 jobs in 100 days campaign you can contact their shire offices at:
- Caringbah, Suite 1A, 20-26 President Ave 9535 8800.
- Engadine, Shop 3, 25 Station Street 9548 7500.