Like many hospitality workers, Cameron Milne found himself out of a job in March.
After months of hard work including gaining new qualifications, the 30-year-old, who lives with an intellectual disability, was left feeling lost and without a purpose. Fortunately a new opportunity presented itself when Employment service CVGT Australia helped connect Mr Milne with Industrial Fire and Electrical – a Launceston business looking for some additional help.
Owner Peter Brumby said hiring an employee with a disability had been suggested to him, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions he’d ever made.
“The business has expanded a fair bit. Through COVID, we have actually gone OK. We also bought another business, so we have expanded from 25 to 30 employees, to 46” he said.
“As part of the expansion, I was talking to some people and they suggested it would be a good thing to have someone with a disability. We approached CVGT and it’s gone from there. It’s just been a fantastic outcome.”
For the past few months Mr Milne has worked eight hours a week at IFE, with daily duties varying from vehicle washing, maintaining the warehouse and workshop area and assisting with admin tasks.
Mr Brumby said he had been such a good worker, he was about to start 12 hours a week. After a challenging few months, Mr Milne said it felt wonderful to be employed again.
“Being able to do something feels good,” he said.
“I had a job before this at a function centre and because of COVID, I lost it. But I like helping around the warehouse.” December 3 marks International Day for People living with a Disability, aimed at increasing public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities and highlighting their achievements. This year, the theme is Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world.
About a quarter of Tasmania’s population identify as living with a disability. Mr Brumby said he would recommend all business owners consider providing more opportunities for those who sometimes go without.
“I’ll admit I was sceptical at first, but he [Cameron] has been fantastic,” he said.
“He is very stable – even though he has a disability. He comes to work everyday. If you ask him to do something, he says “sure”.
“If he doesn’t understand something, he just asks. I am just pleased we could offer it to him and I would say to anyone else considering it, try it.”
Article by Jessica Willard and is reproduced with permission from the Launceston Examiner.