Wangaratta employer ‘steeling’ local job seeker talent by offering inclusive employment

A Wangaratta Belting Steel and Engineering business is leading the way in inclusive employment and reaping the benefits, urging other local businesses to follow suit by offering people with disability meaningful employment.

Ethan Fitzgerald of Frascas Belting Steel and Engineering has employed five Workways clients since April 2019, with three of them gaining stable employment opportunities, and he says that it has been a positive experience.

“My experience with Workways has been great. They’ve provided me with keen employees and has allowed me to not only offer them meaningful employment but an overall purpose,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“I don’t look at the disability of a job seeker, more at what they can offer our business, what skills they have and how engaged they are in working.”

Three people benefiting from this inclusive approach to employment is Frascas Belting Steel and Engineering employees Lee De Piazza, Jack Fleming and Nathan Baker.

After contacting Workways, they were teamed up with local Recruitment Partner David Halabi, who works hard to build rapport with local employers.

David built a strong relationship with Ethan by providing quality placement support through keeping close contact, making on-site visits and addressing any concerns promptly, opening up a world of opportunity.

Mr Halabi said the work that Ethan and Frascas Belting Steel and Engineering are doing to actively create opportunities for people of all abilities is to be commended.

“Thanks to Ethan’s inclusivity, three job seekers are now meaningfully employed and are a great part of the team. They’re valuable in their roles and most importantly feel appreciated themselves.”

“It’s important for employers to look beyond disability, as they may be missing out on the benefits that come with it,” Mr Halabi said.

David also believes that job seekers with disability deserve to be treated with equality and respect, with the goal of sustainable employment and ultimately leading to better lives.

Local job seeker Jack has reached incredible milestones and considering it is his first ever job, he has renewed his sense of motivation. If all goes well, he hopes to secure an apprenticeship with the employer.

For Nathan Barker, he has overcome the stereotype that comes with cerebral palsy and has recently completed his first week of employment as a Labourer. Through his perseverance and work ethic, he has become a valuable member of the team.

Lee De-Piazza, at 50 years old, has barriers to employment including chronic pain and restless legs, but has been working as a welder for the past seven months and has proven that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been out of work, you can still gain meaningful employment.

“It’s an eye-opening experience to see Employment Service providers doing it right. After so much negative experience with other providers, Workways has helped me gain employment as a welder after 12 years of being without employment,” Mr De-Piazza said.

“At 50 years of age I thought it wouldn’t be possible to get to where I am today. I hope I won’t have to need Workways assistance again, but I’m confident that David would help me if I ever needed it.” Said Mr De-Piazza.

With COVID-19 affecting local businesses and job security uncertain, we are happy to share that Frascas Belting Steel and Engineering are still in full swing and Lee, Nathan and Jack are still currently employed.

Ethan and David are encouraging other local employers to invest in people with disabilities and Workways are continuing to help their local job seekers and employers through these tough and uncertain times, aiding those who may not have jobs and filling those in demand industries in the local area.