City of Sydney partnered with Jigsaw to support them to improve disability inclusion in their organisation. The engagement kicked off at the beginning of 2023 and moved quickly to engage and employ three Jigsaw trainees.
- In City of Sydney’s Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan 2021 – 2025 they committed to partner with organisations to increase employment opportunities for people with disability.
- The HR team in City of Sydney wanted to work with organisations that could not only provide job-ready candidates, but offer a practical, guided program of support to ensure the long-term success of job placements.
There are a lot of misconceptions about people with disability. Given my disability is invisible others might see me as an unskilled worker, think I don’t fit in or that I’m less productive than people that don’t have a disability, which isn’t true.
For International Day of People with Disability 2022, the HR team at City of Sydney asked Jessie Moore, Jigsaw Connect Strategic Account Manager (NSW), to join their panel to educate people about invisible disability. In learning more about Jigsaw’s innovative and proven pathway to employment for people with disability, HR Manager, Rodney Waterson recognised Jigsaw would be a great fit to be a longer-term partner of City of Sydney to help them achieve their inclusion objectives.
The first step for Rodney was to learn more about the job-ready candidates Jigsaw had in their pool of paid trainees (trainees already earning an award-wage working in Jigsaw’s commercial business). Jessie shared the resumes of three paid trainees for review and outlined the nature of work best suited to these candidates.
Rodney quickly identified three roles aligned to their individual skills sets: one in the HR team and two in the Urban Analytics Team.
Jessie and the three candidates, Ari, Frazer and Matt then met with the HR and Urban Development teams and toured the offices. Having met each other, both Jigsaw graduates and the City of Sydney team were confident and enthusiastic about the opportunity.
Before Ari, Frazer and Matt started their roles at City of Sydney, Jessie conducted a ‘Disability Confidence’ training session to 66 people in the HR and Urban Analytics team.
For direct managers and their close teams, the three Jigsaw graduates ran their own ‘support plan sessions’ with support from Transitions Coordinators, Michael Summers and Brayden Capstick.
Every Jigsaw graduate starting mainstream employment has a tailored support plan which outlines the support they require to set them up for success. It’s important that graduates are included in the development process of these plans, just like Matt, Ari and Frazer were – because nobody understands an individual’s needs or abilities as well as they do.
“I would like people to understand that people with a disability know what support they need to function in a working environment. I worked with the connect team on a disability support plan that detailed everything we needed to consider so that I could train for office work effectively,” said Matt.
When Ari, Frazer and Matt started their roles, they were supported by a Transitions Coordinator onsite for the first two days. They then conduct a weekly check-in by phone or email with the new placements as well as with their managers.
City of Sydney initially put a six-month agreement in place. After demonstrating their hard work and skills, Ari, Frazer and Matt have since received contracts with City of Sydney and have fully transitioned and embedded themselves into their new teams!
Jigsaw’s Connect team is providing ongoing support to the City of Sydney and the Jigsaw Graduates, and looks forward to supporting ongoing skill development and exploring opportunities.
The group placement model allowed the team to transition from Jigsaw with a support network around them, to assist with navigating a new workplace and culture. This also provided the team with support with their tasks, with the team reporting that they help each other out when they come across a problem.
Rodney Waterson, Manager of Recruitment and HR Systems at City of Sydney, expressed his satisfaction with the process.
“My impressions of Jigsaw have been very positive from my first interaction. Their commitment to delivering the best possible employment outcomes for the young people they work with is what made them stand out to me when seeking a partner to work with,” said Mr Waterson.
“The support they provide to their clients and to the business has been outstanding. They continue to provide support to the young people and the business even after placement in ongoing employment. I intend to engage Jigsaw for our next round of inclusive employment.”
I would like people to understand that people with a disability know what support they need to function in a working environment. I worked with the connect team on a disability support plan that detailed everything we needed to consider so that I could train for office work effectively.
Disabilities are very diverse. Some people have physical problems, others have trouble learning or have speech difficulties. A little bit of patience goes a long way to making us feel included.
Jigsaw is a social enterprise that provides an innovative pathway to open employment for people with disability. By embedding a comprehensive skill-based training program within our commercial document and data management business, Jigsaw enables people with disability to achieve their employment goals at their own pace. Jigsaw’s holistic approach starts from the very basics of core work skills and supports trainees all the way through to transition to open employment with ongoing support and coaching once they have transitioned.