Michelle’s dairy good day

MORE than 150 people with disabilities took part in a day of work experience across various industries in Gippsland recently, in what served as a good way to promote equal opportunity employment.

With the support of Work Solutions Gippsland, in partnership with disability employment services provider at Work Australia, more than 150 jobseekers with disabilities took part in a unique initiative called ‘Job Shadow Day’.

It gave people with disabilities the chance to experience a day in the life of an employee, and introduced employers and businesses to a large, diverse talent pool.

It was the sixth year the event had been held in Gippsland.

Job Shadow Day has had great success in the past, with many opportunities opened to prospective employment.

Budding dairy farmer Michelle Brown took part in the day, helping out Myrtlebank farmer Andrew Waite.

The 22-year-old was busy at work in the bustling dairy, as the cows came in to be milked.

Ms Brown took the initiative to ensure the cows were kept calm and relaxed, as the workflow moved in an orderly manner.

With work to do, she didn’t have much time to talk to an annoying journalist, but appeared to be thriving in her chosen environment.

Work Solutions Gippsland director Donna Faulkner said she hoped the program’s success would continue.

“For many unemployed people, finding and keeping a job is so hard to achieve – we want to give unemployed people a taste of job requirements and employers’ expectations,” she said.

“We also want to broaden the horizons and build diversity amongst businesses who may not have previously considered candidates with a disability.”

The Gippsland-wide initiative involved more than 100 employers offering job seekers with disabilities a chance to shadow a worker for a day.

Local government, as well as local and larger size businesses such as V/Line, AGL Loy Yang, Big W, Coles, Woolworths, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Gippsland Motor Group were some of the organisations and businesses joining Job Shadow Day and demonstrating their willingness to develop more inclusive workplaces.