In January 2020, Kathy left her partner of many years whom she had also been working for. Kathy was starting from scratch, “I lived at my brothers in a caravan”.
Kathy signed up for Jobseeker but was soon referred to Disability Employment Service (DES) on account of her osteoarthritis in her hands, knees and spine. Kathy chose to commence with atWork Australia’s Beaconsfield, Tasmania office.
Kathy represented many barriers to employment, including a lack of experience due to the fact that she had worked in a family business for a number of years. In addition, she had no formal qualifications and felt that her age put her at a further disadvantage.
It was during COVID-19 when appointments were conducted online, that her atWork Australia Job Coach Dianne started Kathy’s DES journey over the phone, rather than face-to-face in order to reduce the chances of spreading the disease. Regardless of their distance, they were able to devise a realistic plan for her career via telephone.
Job Coach Dianne’s first consideration was education however, Dianne had to locate Kathy’s school leaving certificate from 1973 to establish whether she was eligible for subsidised education. As it turned out, she was and soon agreed to commence in study.
From previous discussions around employment goals, Kathy admitted that she loved the idea of becoming a support worker. Therefore, Kathy and Job Coach Dianne, went ahead and enrolled her into a Certificate III in Individual Support in Disabilities.
It was through a process of elimination that allowed Kathy to realise the best option for her to gain financial stability. For example, Kathy and Dianne looked at all of the jobs that she couldn’t do, but then focussed in on what Kathy could do.
atWork Australia supported Kathy by paying for the repairs on her iPad, this allowed her to complete her qualification, which she successfully did. She soon gained employment as a Support Worker.
Kathy remarked that, she “was not in a good place mentally before coming to atWork Australia”, but once she found her feet in her job, Kathy said that she is feeling really good about herself and is doing a job she did not think possible 12 months before. Kathy has also moved into her own unit and is enjoying living in Beaconsfield.
The Certificate III that Kathy was enrolled in, required 120 hours of work placement before the qualification could be made official however, her employer agreed to hire Kathy and allow her to complete her placement hours.
Job Coach Dianne said the Kathy is a lovely person who needed support, she was open to any suggestions as she knew the COVID-19 supplement would be short lived and wanted to have the benefits of financial independence, and work.
When asked about her thoughts on returning to study at the age of 62 she said, “If I have to go back to school, I will” and she did.
atWork Australia helps thousands of people just like Kathy every year to find their way into meaningful work and life, let us help you too. Call us today on 1300 080 856 or enquire online.”