Joshua Ford - a chance to be a part of normal community life
Since February this year, Joshua Ford has worked at The Perth Mint as Records Assistant. Thanks to an inclusive recruitment strategy, The Perth Mint has been able to engage Josh in a position where he can make a significant contribution to our Records team, while gaining independence and learning new skills.
The roots of Josh’s Perth Mint story lie in a strategic partnership with the Job Access National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC). In 2018, The Perth Mint engaged with the NDRC to rejuvenate hiring practices and become a more welcoming place for employees with a disability.
Through this process there were several improvements made, including:
- Developing accessible job advertisements
- Implementing a reasonable adjustment policy
- Giving applicants multiple options to share information about their disability
- Implementing recruiter training to ensure processes are inclusive
- Providing disability awareness training to the leadership team to increase general understanding of disability employment and the barriers people with disability may face to equal participation.
Having worked with the NDRC in previous roles, Kristen Potter (Group Manager Organisational and Cultural Development) was responsible for kick-starting this partnership when she began at The Perth Mint four years ago.
“The NDRC was able to identify areas of opportunity that, as a team, we had not yet considered,” said Kristen. “We’re now confident that our recruitment practices are far more inclusive and accessible to potential candidates.”
A new team member
Following the support and guidance The Perth Mint received from its 12-month partnership with the NDRC, and with additional support from Down Syndrome WA (DSWA), the company appointed Josh as Records Assistant.
You’d be hard pressed to find a warmer, more gregarious person than Josh. His colleagues all have glowing things to say about him and they agree that Josh brings an infectious enthusiasm to the job.
To help Josh adjust to his role, DSWA provided a mentor, Suzanna Olsen, who occasionally joins him at work. Now that Josh has passed his probation and has learned the ropes, Suzanna will scale back her involvement and make space for Josh to work on his own.
“The new job at the Mint has brought many wonderful changes to my life.”
"I love working with others and having the opportunity to use my skills and abilities. And I enjoy improving them. Everyone here has been so welcoming and given me the support I need. On some days my manager, Luke Archer, and I go to lunch together. I get a good wage that will help me to plan for my future life and become more independent.
"By far the biggest feeling I have is of thanks – to Mum and Dad, and all those who have trust in me and have given me such a chance to be a part of normal community life," Josh adds.
Championing diversity and inclusion
It’s not just Josh’s teammates who have noticed his terrific growth. According to Jane King (Chief People and Reputation Officer), “Josh is a delight to work with. He is always willing to help and genuinely eager to learn and add to his skills. We are lucky to have him working at The Mint and we are very interested in offering more opportunities to people living with a disability.”
Along with Justin Kees (Chief Operating Officer), Jane has just taken over as an Executive Sponsor of the Disability, Mental Health and Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group. In this role Jane and Justin are hoping to continue Kristen’s work in making The Perth Mint a welcoming place for all employees.
The challenges facing workers with disabilities are wide and varied, and can include:
- Transport to work
- Expensive adaptive equipment
- Pension eligibility earning limitations
- Scheduling conflicts with therapeutic appointments
- Unpredictable physical symptoms.
While the task sometimes looks daunting, we are proud to be doing our part to address these obstacles.
“The Perth Mint is proud to support people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment,” said Justin Kees. “Everyone should be treated equally, and everyone deserves to be given an opportunity!”
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