Never Give Up

David and his family always had the expectation that he would work one day.  Whether this was because of a strong family work ethic or an inherent desire for David to have the same opportunities as his brother and sister, his mother is not sure.  It was an assumption and they have always worked towards this goal.  This included ensuring David had opportunities to develop his skills and become job ready by attending TAFE courses, learning to read and by volunteering his time at some organisations.

David left school 23 years ago and during this time he has tried a number of jobs: Some have been in sheltered workshops and some in the open employment market.  David has resigned from a job; he has been hired, fired, and laid off.  He has been reinstated by an employer when demand for their product increased.  Basically David has had a rather typical employment history. 

David has been at his current job for about 8 years now.  He is on the supported wage system whereby after he was assessed to be working at 50 % capacity it was agreed that he would be paid at 50% of the full wage. David receives support for approximately 1 hour each fortnight by a Disability Employment Service (DES) who meets with David and his supervisor to see how things are going. It is the role of DES’ to not only help people to find a job but also to help people to keep it.

David’s father, Paul found David his current job at a sports club that the family frequent regularly.  Paul saw an opportunity for David to work there as it combined a lot of his interests, and his love of being in the outdoors.  David is also a genuinely helpful person; he finds value in being given responsibility and likes caring for others. These interests, traits and skills translated well into his current job as a general assistant to a team of workers at the club including his main role as the assistant grounds man. 

Although David’s family found him the job, because David was registered with a DES, both he and the employer were still entitled to the supports available to job seekers with disability, including ongoing on the job support of the DES.

David feels he has found a job for life and he can be pretty certain about this as he has had some less than glamorous jobs in his life.  At one point he had a job washing cars and after 2 years in this job he decided to resign.  When his mother asked him why he had resigned, David replied’ because I do not want to still be washing cars when I’m 40’!

David’s mother, Pam, said at times it has been difficult but she advises ‘never give up’.  David did not find his ideal job until he was 31 and if all continues to go well; he probably will have the job for life.