Disability Works Australia


Hilton Hotel discovering the value of a diverse workforce

The leading global hospitality giant, Hilton Group is well known for its superior service and luxury accommodation. Hilton Hotel, Sydney , NSW has taken this excellent reputation even further by stepping up and embracing diversity.

In June of this year, Hilton Hotel, Sydney signed an agreement with Disability Works Australia (DWA), implementing a plan to develop their staff base by offering employment opportunities to people with disabilities.

The Hilton Hotel Sydney has 576 guest rooms, 4,000sqm of flexible event floor space, and an array of bars and cafes for wining and dining. Hilton Hotel, Sydney has the potential for incredible job prospects. Being such a large organisation, this is a prime opportunity for job seekers with disabilities to gain employment, with the hotel already employing over 625 staff.

DWA has received job vacancies from Hilton Hotel, Sydney and after broadcasting the positions to local Disability Employment Network (DEN) and Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) providers, DWA received many referrals to the positions.

Applicants were pre-screened by DWA staff and suitable candidates were short-listed and referred to Hilton Hotel for interviews. Five applicants were offered employment and commenced work on 1st October 2008 .

Successful applicant: Maria

One of the successful applicants, Maria Calica had experience in retail and hotel positions previously and has a Certificate 2 in Retail Operations. With a mild intellectual disability and mental health, Maria had not worked in paid employment since 2005 and was keen to get back into the workforce. No workplace modifications were required due to her disability for her to complete her duties. Maria only requires an understanding and supportive employer and employment agency to complete her job well.

Maria's position in Hilton Hotel Sydney is in the Events Department where she assists with behind the scenes preparation of linen and equipment, such as folding napkins or polishing glasses and cutlery. With the help of DWA and her employment agency, Break Thru Employment Solutions in Maroubra, Maria has gained steady employment and couldn't be happier, saying, “The people that I work with are nice and caring and help me with my work. My favourite job is helping set up the tables for big dinners. This is the best job I have had and I would like to work here for a long time.”

  Maria's employment consultant at Break Thru Employment Services stated that, “Staff and managers at the Hilton have been wonderful in helping Maria integrate into the team. They recognize her abilities and give her tasks she can successfully complete. The managers were very open to Break Thru supporting and training Maria on the job as she became accustomed to the work environment. Maria's confidence and self esteem have increased since she started working here and it has been a great job match for her.”

Successful Applicant: Allan

Allan Shipley had been unemployed for 2 years before being offered a Loading Dock Attendant position at Hilton Hotel. With an extensive history in administration, customer service and various other areas, Allan possessed easily transferable skills to apply to his new position. Allan's position in the loading dock is an important job as it is the central hub of the hotel and a very busy area. The deliveries and collections to the hotel are made from the dock. Allan's role ensures that the hotel is receiving correct orders and they are being charged accordingly.

Allan has short stature and requires minimal assistance to fulfill his job duties. All he needs to complete his job is the tools to reach items arranged at heights such as a stool or a step ladder. With the flexible environment in Hilton and the support of his employment consultant at 121 Employment, Seven Hills, Allan is satisfied with his job and is comfortable where he is working.

Allan's case manager said that, “Allan is an enthusiastic young person whose disability did not stop him from fulfilling his dreams of being an equal part of society. He is a good example of marginalized people who can succeed in doing things if given the opportunity to do so. DWA actually gave him such opportunity and we are sure he will be successful in his career.”

Chantal Jackson , Human Resources Manager, Hilton Hotel Sydney said, “We are excited and pleased to be working with DWA. The Hilton is always looking for opportunities to assist within the community and provide employment opportunities for people who are willing to provide excellent customer service. Both Maria and Allan have integrated well into their Departments and have quickly become valued Team members. The process was easy and was well supported by both DWA and the respective Case Managers. Within the Hotel, there are many roles that can be tailored to suit disabilities and we have been fortunate to have found 2 team members who take pride in their work and we are proud to support them and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with both them and DWA.”


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