PEOPLE looking for employment need someone to take a chance on them and open the door to opportunities.
This is particularly true if they are facing challenges that have knocked them off their feet.
Local business Rockingham Holiday Village and disability employment agency Bizlink are successfully doing that. They give people genuine and meaningful employment opportunities.
Michael Ahern has owned the village for 30 years and has employed 15 people from Bizlink since 2016.
Current employee Jason Felstead used to be the head gardener for a large organisation but was forced to leave due to mental health concerns. The illness left him unable to work for more than a year.
Back on his feet but still a little shaky, Mr Ahern gave him work.
“It’s a good variety of work – every day is different,” Mr Felstead said.
“It’s good to get something on the resume again.”
He works three days a week doing gardening and general yard work.
“We currently have four staff from Bizlink doing anything from gardening, admin support or cleaning,” Mr Ahern said.
“It bridges the gap from long-term unemployment – it’s a stepping stone.
“Many of the people we have employed have gone on to bigger things.”
“Jason has been here close to eight months now and has really been a great asset to the park.”
Bizlink Support staff co-ordinator James Hamilton said the park is one of it’s top 20 employers for it’s clients.
“Everyone at the park is so supportive of our people,” he said.
“It’s been fantastic – helping people back on their feet again.
“We have been able to place people here that have really been up against it.
“We have set up a good working relationship with Michael and provide intensive support.
“Working with disabled there needs to be good relationships to help people with their vulnerabilities and challenges.”
Mr Ahern also offers vocational opportunities for Bizlink clients to further up skill and gain their dream job.