A case for diversity
A genuine commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion has recently led to new employment opportunities at Gippsland Water, for locals with disabilities.
The establishment of a partnership with local disability job provider Work Solutions Gippsland (WSG) was a catalyst for jobseeker Hayden in securing contact employment, following the 2018 Job Shadow Day initiative, which provides people with disability and other barriers to employment with insights into the practical experience of working life.
In Hayden’s case, a streamlined recruitment process was developed using a technique called ‘job carving’. Job carving involves analysing the duties of the role and identifying tasks that can be completed by a candidate with a disability. The result was Hayden being employed casually in a Systems Administration role, from early 2019.
By working closely with Hayden’s case manager at WSG, the Gippsland Water team established a partnership to support both Hayden and his new colleagues through the induction and employment process. Part of this process involved developing a Post Placement Support Plan, which helped Hayden to settle into his new role and succeed.
Communication has played a vital role, particularly in ensuring Hayden’s work colleagues understand the best ways to support his needs. As part of the pre-commencement planning process, Hayden’s case manager delivered an information session for the Gippsland Water team to raise awareness, ask questions, dispel myths and have an open discussion.
After moving through the induction process, Hayden was shown the ropes in a way that suited him with flexibility shown in altering any aspects of his job that allow for a smoother day to day process. For example; he works shorter hours, has a peer mentor and, after a discussion with the wider Gippsland Water team, has found that colleagues living in his area can pick him up on the way to work for ease of travel. All of these points were agreed to a post placement support plan.
The whole experience has been extremely positive for both Hayden and Gippsland Water. Following Hayden’s successful recruitment, a second jobseeker from WSG has been appointed and two other business areas are working through how they might also recruit from WSG for their future staffing needs.
From Gippsland Water’s perspective, the benefits of employing a person with a disability include gaining access to a wider talent pool and developing a positive reputation within the local community.
Involvement in GROW Gippsland has offered Gippsland Water the opportunity to connect with other likeminded organisations by sharing their journey, collaborating and learning from each other.