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Success Stories - Employment

Direct Employment

James: Smiling All The Way to a New Job

James, a 22-year-old man with cerebral palsy, has recently secured a job with a local Holden dealership thanks to CatholicCare Sydney’s disability employment service Direct Employment (DE).

James is confident, but struggles daily with his speech and often finds it hard to be clearly understood. Despite this barrier to communication, he has always maintained a motivated and positive attitude towards his job search with DE.

While motivation is essential for job seekers, it doesn’t always guarantee success in the competitive jobs market. Because of this CatholicCare employment services staff are always on the lookout for potential opportunities for job seekers.

When a DE Training and Placement Officer noticed the kitchen area at his local Holden dealership was quite untidy he saw such an opportunity. He spoke to one of the managers and suggested he might have a solution to their problem.

This sort of “cold canvasing” (which can occur both during and outside of work hours) is not unusual for DE employees. CatholicCare employment services employees often go above and beyond for the people they serve.

DE staff approached the Holden dealership and proposed their solution: James would work part-time for the company cleaning and gardening and DE would provide ongoing support to both James and the dealership.

After meeting James the owners were more than happy to give him an opportunity. James has been employed at the Holden dealership for more than three months.

The team at DE continue to provide support, alongside the accommodating staff at Holden who have truly made James feel like part of the team. James is enjoying his new role at Holden.

Son: Driving Towards Success

When Son first contacted CatholicCare Sydney’s disability employment service, Direct Employment (DE), he was recovering from serious health issues that had impeded his ability to find and maintain work.

A DE Employment and Workplace Facilitator helped Son to think about the kind of career path he would like to pursue and plan how to achieve his aspirations.

Son identified a passion for owning his own business and starting a driving school. DE provided support to Son in establishing his business and he is now the proud owner of Viva Road Driving School. Son’s business provides his local area with one of only a few certified driving instructor options.

Thanks to Son’s determination and the ongoing support from DE, Viva Road Driving School has continued to build momentum. Son has grown his client base by advertising in the Vietnamese newspapers and distributing his business cards throughout the Canterbury Bankstown area.

Son is a positive, proactive man who is grateful for the help and support he’s received. Son is committed to giving back to his community and even spends his own time assisting his Vietnamese students who are having difficulty with English to pass their exams.

Bruce: Making it Work For Him

Following an injury which occurred in 2010, Bruce feared he may never again be able to secure employment and worried he would have no choice but to enter an unplanned, and unprepared, early retirement.

Bruce is a qualified boilermaker by trade, but his ability to perform the role was impaired when he sustained an injury to his left shoulder that meant his movement and arm strength was severely restricted.

Two years later, after surgery failed to alleviate the effects of the injury, Bruce faced the prospect of not only being unable to work as a boilermaker, but perhaps never finding adequate employment of any kind.

Bruce contacted CatholicCare Sydney’s disability employment service, Direct Employment (DE), and was encouraged to consider a part time position where his skills working with metal could be put to good use.

Bruce agreed to undergo a work trial at Saliba Steel, facilitated by DE. Sam, Saliba Steel business owner, focused on Bruce’s abilities rather than his limitations and offered him a paid position.

After four months, Bruce began to feel pain in his right shoulder as he overcompensated for the lack of mobility in his left arm.

DE had previously discussed with Bruce the potential of workplace modifications to improve his ability to work. DE helped to select a foot pedal-operated steel punch machine to assist Bruce, and through the Workplace Modification Scheme it was installed at Saliba Steel.

Bruce can now work pain-free and his productivity has increased. He is cutting metal and punching holes three times faster than before.

Sharon: Self-Esteem Issues No Barrier to Work

20-year-old Sharon* was referred to CatholicCare Sydney's employment services with low self-esteem, low confidence, social isolation, anxiety, a mild intellectual disability and significant health problems. Her difficulties impacted on her mood, concentration and energy levels.

Sharon's case manager assisted her with counselling to increase her self-esteem and reduce her anxiety. She was also encouraged to pursue an interest and thus increase her social networks. Sharon's case manager assisted her with role plays to increase her confidence in social situations and facilitated referrals to health professionals to assess and manage her health condition.

After 15 months in our employment service, Sharon had overcome her issues to the point that she was ready to explore realistic vocational options. With her case manager's support, Sharon was referred to Direct Employment (CatholicCare Sydney's disability employment service). This service promptly placed her in a retail job and provided her with on-the-job training and support. Her case manager continued to provide her support while Sharon transitioned into employment and so far she is doing extremely well.

Read more about Direct Employment.


*Names have been changed