Living with an undiagnosed disability made finding and keeping work a significant challenge for Murray Bridge woman Jessica Baiton, until she teamed up with IntoJobs.

With very limited work history, Jess struggled to find employment due to having low literacy and numeracy skills, and an intellectual disability which had gone unaddressed her whole life. She had previously undergone a Certificate III in Individual Support but did not get through the first unit as she did not have access to the right support.

This changed when she was referred to IntoJobs Murray Bridge , who were able to assist and secure a traineeship in aged care, “Jess has always had a great relationship with her grandmother and thought she wanted to go into aged care and felt very passionately about this. She only struggled to find employment due to her limited work history,” Mobile Employment Consultant Emma Piazza said.

Through Lerwin Aged Care’s pre-employment traineeship program, Jess was able to trial her skills in the field. The program helps participants gain the mandatory training and knowledge to kickstart their career in aged care, “We identified that a traineeship in aged care would be a great way for Jess to learn the skills while working with hands on experience and have access to support in completing the study component,” Emma said.

At the end of the program, participants go through a round of interviews with traineeships offered to successful applicants who would be hired through Group Training Organisation mteSA and Registered Training Organisation MADEC Training. After a few weeks of hard work, Jess was offered a traineeship but unfortunately, due to the nature of the work and the study requirements, Jessica’s traineeship was terminated by the GTO and RTO.

However, Rowena Fox, from Lerwin’s HR department, saw potential in Jessica and was determined to help her, “Rowena said it wasn’t good enough that someone with so much passion and drive to be working should be left out with no job and sitting on Centrelink payments again. Jess unfortunately at this time also had her grandmother pass away so she was not keen on personal support care work anymore due to the grief,” Emma said.

Rowena worked closely with IntoJobs to help Jess get a job with Spotless Cleaning, who had a contract with Lerwin, “Thanks to this collaboration, Jessica has been successfully employed with Spotless in the Lerwin facility. After three months of casual employment, she has now been offered a full-time position. It is a perfect role as Jess can still interact with the elderly but is working in a sustainable capacity for her,” she said.

Emma said Jessica’s story is an inspirational example of what can be achieved with drive and the right support, “Thanks to the collaboration of local organisations and the hard work of Jessica, she is now in sustainable employment. Her resilience is truly inspiring and just shows that with drive and continued support we at IntoJobs can help local people get into local jobs.”

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