After fearing he would never work again, Jeff has shown it is possible for older Australians to find satisfying employment with the right support. A spinal disorder, chronic low back pain and other health issues were crippling for Jeff and meant he had to stop working as a rigger and crane operator in Perth to try to regain his health.
But after nearly a year of rest and recovery, he found that his confidence in himself and his abilities had plummeted. Jeff was not only worried about how his physical health might affect his job chances, but also the possibility of being treated less favourably than others because of his age.
Fortunately, Jeff approached atWork Australia to access one-on-one support to help him find employment that is right for his needs.
Disability Employment Services Job Coach Nikita from the Midland office knew Jeff was lacking faith in himself, but she was also aware of employers who valued the experience and loyalty of older people. “Even though he had zero confidence due to his age and condition, I knew that together we could get him where he wanted to be,” she said.
Nikita listened to Jeff describe his needs and helped him to identify his work and life goals. Together, they drew a tailored job plan, built his résumé and prepped for job interviews. Nikita made lists of likely employers and encouraged Jeff to approach them in person.
A few weeks later, much to Jeff’s delight, a rigging company just a couple of kilometres from his home agreed to employ him for general duties on a casual basis for 10 hours per week. Nikita then rang the employer to offer a wage subsidy for Jeff, to which they readily agreed.
After nine months of unemployment, he is now working 20 hours per week and credits Nikita for her individual approach.
“I’m really happy with the job and the people I work for. I’m also thankful for my Job Coach who worked hard to make getting this job so easy and stress-free,” Jeff said.