Workers set to show their ability

Emily AceSouth Western Times
Participant Christine Robinson helps Eaton Community Library services coordinator Dean Pitts to shelve books as part of her work experience last year.
Camera IconParticipant Christine Robinson helps Eaton Community Library services coordinator Dean Pitts to shelve books as part of her work experience last year. Credit: South Western Times, Jon Gellweiler

Forrest Personnel will open the door to equal opportunity for WorkABILITY Day 2018 and is encouraging other South West employers to do the same.

The initiative, driven by the equal opportunity employment agency, gives people with health conditions, disability or injury the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities by carrying out work experience for a day on August 28.

Organisation chief executive Anna Bagshaw said the organisation would lead by example, offering participants hands-on experience in roles as varied as digital marketing, HR, training, reception, community engagement and work health and safety, across the organisation.

“We aim to have people experience a day at Forrest Personnel at every level of the organisation,” she said.

“We’ll do what we’ve done best for over 30 years – make great workplace matches that work for everyone.”

Ms Bagshaw said the aim was to make this year’s event “bigger and better” and emphasise the benefits of participating for both parties.

“What we are trying to do is get more employers to understand what a range of abilities there are out there, and similarly for our clients, what a range of jobs are out there and what those jobs really look like,” she said.

“We are trying to make employers feel more comfortable with what it is like to be working with one of our participants, but also the support we can provide to make it easier to employ our clients.”

Ms Bagshaw said while the aim was for their clients to secure a paid job through the initiative, just having the opportunity to gain experience and confidence was viewed as a success.

The City of Bunbury took on work experience participants last year, which tied in with its ongoing plans for a diverse workforce.

“As somebody who gives people jobs regularly, it’s different when you offer someone with a disability an opportunity, because you know you’ve changed their life,” senior human resources adviser Tina Westrup said.

“You’ve given them some power back to make a living, be a part of a team, get paid for it, and be recognised just like anybody else.”

Employers and jobseekers who would like to learn more are encouraged to contact Forrest Personnel on 1800 ABILITY.

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