Disability Works Australia



Simon's confidence boost makes good business sense for BI-LO

SimonSimon is a 25 year old who has had difficulty finding work. Simon's learning disability has hampered his efforts to find suitable work since leaving Darwin 18 months ago. Coming from another state to find employment with little or no contacts is hard enough, let alone having a learning disability.

Simon joined Community Bridging Services (CBS) a specialised Disability Employment Service and became involved in their Jobnet program, which looks at addressing barriers to employment for people with disabilities. Simon went through pre-employment training including interview skills, communication in the workplace, health and safety as well as other job related skills.

Simon was fortunate that Disability WORKS Australia (DWA) contacted CBS and invited suitable applicants to apply for a position for Night-Fill at Bi-Lo. Simon lived locally and was an ideal candidate for the position. He was interviewed and asked to sit for an evaluation, which measures skill levels such as labelling, bar coding, date ordering and sequencing. Coming from a work background of labouring and factory work in Darwin, this was quite challenging for him.

Simon & JustinWithin days of Simon going through the selection process, he was placed at Bi-Lo for two days of work experience. He then successfully gained employment as a Night-Filler.

Simon initially required support on the job, which CBS provided to enable Simon to learn his new role. A CBS support worker said, "initially Simon needed that extra support. But after about three or four days, we found that he was more than capable of handlings things on his own."

Since Simon has been at Bi-Lo, he has increased his confidence and has now expanded his work routine to include working on a dairy farm milking cows! Simon's commitment to his new job has brought excellent rewards for Bi-Lo as well as demonstrating that a diverse work force, including hiring staff with disabilities, makes good business sense.

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