Despite a limited work history and a number of serious health conditions, Ben has smashed it on the jobs front and now loves going into work every day.
From Greenfields in south-west WA, Ben, 30, was unemployed for eight years following a short stint working at KFC in his early 20s.
He lives with autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, all of which have made it tough for him to find paid work.
By the time he approached atWork Australia’s Mandurah office in 2018, Ben felt he was unemployable and the future was looking grim.
But his job coach Hayley is an expert in building skills and job-readiness and knew that Ben would find work with the right support.
“It can be extremely hard for people to be positive when they have these obstacles to overcome,” she says.
“But the right help can be a game-changer and lead to a new lease of life,” she says.
Hayley began by signing Ben up to atWork Australia’s Jobs Now program, to give him a grounding in job search skills. The weekly group program helps job seekers with résumé and cover letter writing, interview and communication skills, where to look for the right jobs, marketing yourself to potential employers, networking skills and more. Conducted with other job seekers, it is the perfect way to share tips and support one another.
To help Ben with his low self-esteem, Hayley also worked on building his confidence, so together they’ve pounded the pavement visiting local shops and businesses to hand out his new résumé.
At the same time, Ben has completed a barista course and volunteered at the John Tonkin College Uniform Shop and the Halo Team Op Shop, which supports the disadvantaged.
Hayley says Ben was quiet and nervous when she met him, and although he didn’t think he’d find work he was always reliable and did everything in his power to seek employment.
After two years of support from atWork Australia, last month she found Ben a position as a recycling sorter with Community Recycling WA, located in Ben’s own suburb.
“Ben was so excited and relieved, he’d been looking for work for so long and thought no one would hire him,” Hayley says.
“Now he’s done his first few shifts and absolutely loves it and can’t wait to go to work every day.”
atWork Australia congratulates Ben for his persistence after an incredibly challenging time in his life and wishes him all the best in his career.