Employment reconnecting people with disabilities to community

Posted on Monday, 3 February 2014

A disability should not be a barrier to gainful employment and if anything, a meaningful occupation will help empower people that have disabilities.

For this very reason, Centacare Industries, which is based in Belmore, provides supported employment and training opportunities to adults with various forms of disabilities including dyslexia, Down syndrome, autism and mental illness.

“Employment provides our employees with the opportunity to participate and integrate with their local community. We recognise that skills and self-esteem develop when individuals are given the chance and training to do work that is valued,” said John Esther, Operations Manager at Centacare Industries.

They currently employ 65 supported employees who work in various roles including packaging, assembly, security shredding and garden maintenance. They have clients all over Sydney and provide services to over 10 different customers every day. All of their supported employees are supervised by coordinators and Training and Development Officers.

“Our main purpose is to enable all employees to fulfil their potential and the diversity of our employees means that there is always someone who has the capability to excel in some area,” said John.

“We tailor job roles to suit individual abilities, skill levels and interests. If we have employees who have particular talents, we work with them to identify and build their abilities.”

Supporters of local disability organisations, Canterbury League Club donated $20,000 to Centacare Industries which was used to purchase new equipment to streamline efficiencies and help staff complete tasks safely. Some of the new purchases included an automatic pallet wrapper, gardening tools, trolleys and ergonomic furniture.

“For people with disabilities, gainful employment can make the difference to finding independence for themselves. It is also a chance to interact with other people which can only have a positive effect on their lives,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of the Canterbury League Club.