As a Disability Employment Specialist, Julien Laurent meets many clients like Malcolm* who have experienced long-term unemployment due to complex challenges.
At 43 years of age, Malcolm has a history of learning difficulties, substance abuse and injury. His children live with disabilities, his own mental health is challenged by past trauma, and he is re-establishing himself in the community after a period of incarceration.
One of the first things Julien told his new client, Malcolm, was: “I can acknowledge your past, however I am more focused on helping you achieve your long term goals.”
A local network of support
After understanding Malcolm’s personal situation, Julien referred him to Jobfind’s complementary Healthfind service for life skills and occupational therapy support.
“We can help clients with complex needs establish a support network in various areas,” says Julien. “Alongside Jobfind and Healthfind, he also has the support of his parole officer and drug rehabilitation counsellor.”
Motivation to work had never been a problem for Malcolm. He was willing to work and had a variety of experience in physical labouring jobs.
Malcolm just needed to be presented with the right opportunity with a supportive employer.
Finding the right employer
Julien reached out to a Recruitment Consultant at Jobfind who suggested a local employer in Dandenong who was looking for an employee with a positive attitude to work and who was willing to learn.
“Once the interview was secured, we worked with Malcolm to prepare him to represent his abilities to the employer. We focused on the transferrable skills he could offer to the company, his positive attitude and willingness to be part of a team.”
Just two days after his interview, Malcolm started working part-time with this employer; two weeks later he was working full time. Malcolm has recently completed three months of employment with the company.
Support to start and sustain employment
As an employment services provider, Jobfind was able to offer this employer a wage subsidy to assist with Malcolm’s commencement and ongoing employment.
Wage subsidies are offered by the Australian Government to support eligible businesses to employ a Disability Employment Services (DES) job seeker.
Apart from the financial assistance to take on a new employee, Jobfind can also offer employers and their new staff member orientation support in the critical early days and support to make workplace adjustments for a person with a disability.
In Malcolm’s case, Jobfind also activated the government’s employment assistance fund to support Malcolm to buy work clothing to start his new job.
Jobfind’s assistance doesn’t stop there. Julien maintains frequent communication with Malcolm with the aim of supporting him to succeed in his job for at least 12 months. Julien is also an ongoing resource to the employer, to help overcome any challenges to Malcolm’s employment, should they arise.
Moving forward in life
With a new job and more money, Malcolm is making plans for a better future for himself and his children. He’s working on getting his driver’s licence re-instated so he can save the 1.5-hour bus commute to work every day.
And he’s glad to be able to offer more immediate financial support to his children.
“He is a changed man since we first spoke. Outside the financial aspect, he has gained self-confidence, he is very grateful for the role he has and the team he works with, and is now looking to move closer to the company office to reduce his commute time,” says Julien.
Jobfind’s Disability Employment Services can help eligible job seekers to upskill and apply for meaningful and sustainable work. Jobfind also offers a no-cost recruitment service to help employers to find, hire and retain the right staff for their business. Enquire if Jobfind is in your local area by emailing [email protected]
*Name changed for privacy