Diversity tastes good

After a negative workplace experience left Benjamin with a bad taste, he’s found himself welcomed at Albury-Wodonga’s African Groceries. CVGT Australia brokered the retail position with the local store, which imports items to cater to the region’s diverse migrant communities.

Business owner Clement had previously taken on someone by accessing our Disability Employment Service (DES).

“It was some time back and they were very good. So I approached CVGT Australia again when I needed someone to put in a few hours, someone who could understand the business and have the skills for sales and all of that,” says Clement.

Ben – who is an autistic person – has now been at the store for six months, working about eight hours a week. He does a bit of everything, including deliveries, stacking shelves and serving customers.

“Ben is definitely doing alright. He’s very punctual and reliable. He’s dedicated and has been very supportive of the other staff as well, helping them to learn things on the job.”

Ben was looking for work because his former employer struggled to implement inclusive practices. He felt like he was misunderstood because the company couldn’t meet him where he was at with his condition.

“I have a psychiatric illness, which you can’t see like a physical disability. Management were implying that I was making things up when I tried to explain that I couldn’t do all of the things they’re asking. So I had to leave,” says Ben.

“Eventually this job came along. CVGT explained my situation to them. And so now it’s different. Here, they’re not expecting me to jump through hoops to perform miracles. They understand me and allow me to work at my own pace, so I get things done.

“It makes you feel good knowing that they want you to work here, that they’re not trying to push you out the door.”

CVGT Australia consultant Paul is in touch with Ben every fortnight, just to make sure things continue along smoothly.

“Ben likes the job and the people are good to him. He’s gained confidence and that’s made him keen to find additional work hours,” explains Paul.

“Ben is a pretty cluey person. He likes to do what he can for himself including his own job applications.”

CVGT Australia helps Ben to prepare for interviews, and we follow-up with the employer. All of that practical support encourages Ben to keep succeeding.

Disability Employment Services

Creating inclusive employment for every person and business.

The road to work might feel a bit bumpy if you have a disability, injury or health condition. In 2019-20, the CVGT Australia team made the journey easier for 3729 people. We helped each person to gain new skills and the confidence to find and keep a job. We provided ongoing support and training as people settled into their workplace. Our employer clients were happy too, because they found great new team members. Meaningful work changed things for everyone.

Find out more about Disability Employment Services.

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