Workskills Sparks Another Job
Electrician’s assistant Jackson is on the job, installing a complex air conditioning system into a local office building. Jackson works with confidence, crawling into the roof space and calling to his workmate to pass up a length of ducting. It’s hot tiring work, and Jackson is enjoying every minute of it.
However, the picture looked very different just six months prior. Facing barriers of literacy, numeracy and anxiety, Jackson was in danger of not being able to achieve his dream of gaining a trade in the electricity sector. Jackson struggled daily to read instructions and follow plans, which had led to crippling anxiety.
Jackson and his employer Troy approached Workskills seeking assistance. They discussed the challenges Jackson faced. While Troy wanted Jackson to progress in his career, he was afraid that this simply wouldn’t be possible.
During this first meeting it was identified that Jackson’s primary barrier was his level of literacy. It was this that led to the anxiety and lack of confidence that meant Jackson struggled to keep pace during his school years, and required extra learning support. Jackson had an identified goal of wanting to study toward becoming an electrician, a field that requires workers to understand complex instruction alongside daily tasks such as invoicing, following diagrams and composing emails
Workskills used local community connections to investigate creative solutions for Jackson’s literacy issues. It was a meeting with the TAFE Disability Support Coordinator that would not only get Jackson hitting the books, but would introduce him to technology that would change his life.
TAFE introduced Jackson to applications available for iPAD that accurately scan and read back documents, while also transferring voice to text. Workskills then made an application to Job Access for the cost of an iPAD. Despite an iPAD not being a disability specific piece of equipment, Workskills worked together with Job Access, who arranged a workplace assessment for Jackson. It was clear that an iPAD was the best piece of equipment to deliver the technology that addressed his barriers to work, and the device was approved. Workskills then purchased the applications, making the package complete. We all pitched in with training to support Jackson to use the programs.
Jackson is now able to work with confidence and solve problems himself. Since Jackson became a daily, skilled user of his iPad, there have been no issues with his contribution to the team as he works at the same pace and level as the other staff members. Jackson is proof that barriers can be addressed when Workskills, our clients and support agencies work toward a common goal.