Disability Works Australia


Best job ever - best person for the job

When you deal with about 100 different people on the phone everyday, you need exceptional people skills. And that's exactly what Paul Ellis has got. Paul has been answering customer enquiries from all over Australia as a banking consultant in the busy Bendigo Bank Call Centre for the past six months. He landed the job after chronic arthritis forced him out of the more physically-demanding fields of printing and rubber manufacturing four years ago. Paul and several other people with a disability have achieved jobs with Bendigo Bank after the regionallybased banking giant signed a formal agreement with Disability Works Australia (DWA). The agreement firms up Bendigo Bank's commitment to employ people with a disability and guarantees the support of the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator, DWA, throughout the employment process. The 34-year-old, father of three could not be more enthusiastic about his work in the busy Bendigo Call Centre, which, with the support of Bendigo Bank's Ipswich Call Centre, answers 1. 2 million calls from customers every year. Paul said most of the customers he encountered on the telephone were “really great to deal with”. “Everything about this job is good, there is a great atmosphere and the other staff are really friendly” Paul said. “I would go so far as to say it is the best job I have ever had and I hope to make a career out of it. ”

He said the stability of the job had allowed him to buy a house, which would not have been possible while he was unemployed. After seeing the banking consultant job advertised by DWA, Disability Employment Network provider Bendigo Access Employment suggested Paul was suitable. Before referring him to Bendigo Bank for the role, DWA pre-screened Paul and found he had the necessary people, information technology and telephone skills to do the job.

Bendigo Access Employment manager Paul Costigan said the new recruit had many skills which were easily transferred into a call centre situation. “Paul has great customer service skills, and given his ability to talk and engage people, we decided he would be suitable for a number of fields,” Paul Costigan said. Bendigo Bank Call Centre team leader Sian Williams praised Paul's development since starting work, saying the banking consultant role he was performing was difficult under any circumstances. “He has definitely got people skills, he is really good at creating a rapport with customers on the phone and he gets along really well with all of his peers,” Sian said. She said since starting work Paul's selfassurance had grown and he was now managing several tasks at the same time with confidence. Bendigo Bank has accommodated Paul's disability by allowing him to move and stretch when he becomes stiff and sore and the company has relaxed the uniform code to allow him to wear formal sandshoes to work.

“Bendigo Bank's focus is on individual capabilities and supporting all staff to be successful in the workplace, rather than focusing on a person's disability. There are many opportunities within our organisation for employees with a disability and our partnership with Disability Works Australia will help allow us to fill those vacancies.”

Bendigo Bank Senior Manager People Solutions - Debra Allan



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