General

Jigsaw Australia on the world stage

Jul 8, 2024 | General

Sharing our vision and mission across the world!

We recently welcomed APSN Delta Senior School from Singapore to our Adelaide hub. Having discovered Jigsaw’s unique pathway online, they reached out to arrange a visit in person to learn about Jigsaw’s approach to our shared vision of a workforce that is fully inclusive of people with disability.

APSN is a social service agency that provides special education, vocational training and employment support services for individuals with mild intellectual disability. ASPN  adopts a holistic approach in their curriculum, comprising academic, vocational and social skills, which are important for open employment and lifelong learning. APSN seeks to empower people with disability to be active contributors to the community, and is committed to inspire and develop the capabilities of our partners and community to build an inclusive society.

Jigsaw Australia on the world stage

APSN Delta Senior School is an approved training organisation with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) to deliver the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications Programme. This programme supports students with disability to build workplace skills and gain experience that focuses on in-demand industries including Retail Operations, Hotels & Accommodation, Food & Beverage and Horticulture.

A key objective for the team from APSN Delta School was to understand how Jigsaw partners with inclusive employers to secure long-term, sustainable employment for our trainees. Did you know that in Australia, 70 percent of people who find a job through a Disability Employment Service (DES) are unemployed again within three months? With Jigsaw Australia’s unique employment pathway, 92 percent of Jigsaw graduates remain employed beyond two years.

Our long-standing partner, Allianz Australia generously offered to host the APSN Delta Senior School and Jigsaw teams. After a tour of the impressive state-of-the-art Allianz premises at One Festival Tower, we kicked off an insightful discussion that deep-dived into the Jigsaw and Allianz partnership, and how it continues to benefit both parties by diversifying Allianz’s workforce and providing invaluable employment and work experience opportunities to Jigsaw trainees.

There was ample opportunity for our visitors to ask questions and tap into our experience.  APSN Delta Senior School asked some fantastic questions that garnered thoughtful insights from Allianz about their first-hand experience in employing people with disability. Here’s a snippet of our discussion:

What has been the biggest learning experience for your teams through the partnership with Jigsaw and employing people with disability in Allianz?

Tristan, Senior Customer Resolution Specialist“It really forced me to reassess how I get consultants up to speed on a new process. Jigsaw team members have taught us that a one-size-fits-all approach to learning and development isn’t the way to go. We have to adapt our learning and development approach to suit different learning styles, which should be the case for all. It really forced us to rethink how we do things.”

Anna, Team Manager – Catastrophe Claims“A key standout for me has been having a team that is truly grateful to be here and come to work, and are excited at the challenge of any task we throw at them! They are so passionate, so dedicated, and so grateful for their opportunity here at Allianz, and that is something that has really helped to fill my cup as a leader.”

Peter, National Manager – Customer Resolution & GICOP Assurance“Since the beginning of the Allianz and Jigsaw Australia partnership, we’ve held monthly meetings between leaders and trainers from both organisations. These have been pivotal for us to learn and develop the partnership model as we grew. They gave all parties an opportunity to provide regular 360° feedback which helped Allianz to understand how best to create an inclusive and diverse workforce, and for Jigsaw to understand our needs as an employer and how they could best support Jigsaw participants to succeed and meet our operational expectations.”

How have existing Allianz team members adapted to working with their new Jigsaw colleagues?

Anna“Jigsaw has helped us to learn and adapt to working with people with disability. Many of our team members including myself didn’t have experience or exposure in working closely with a person with disability; especially someone that may have some behavioural challenges and additional support needs to help with regulation. After receiving training from Jigsaw Connect on diversity and disability awareness, including coaching on best practice to work with and support a specific individual, our teams feel more comfortable and confident in how to work with people with disability, how best to communicate and how to support someone in a time of challenge.”

We’ve talked a lot about the long list of positive outcomes from the partnership, but have you identified any key challenges?

Peter “Like any employment opportunity, sometimes it’s just not the right fit; and that’s okay! We have a strong working relationship with Jigsaw and the team members which enables us to communicate openly about these rare scenarios and look at alternate options which may be a better fit.

“Also, sometimes the team is more efficient than we expect! We typically set an expected completion date or deadline for a task, and the Jigsaw team is often too quick to complete it before we’ve determined the next task.”

Anna “We’ve experienced some rigid thinking with some team members when it comes to specific tasks. At Allianz, we work with different operating systems so the answer to a problem or question surrounding a customer’s claim may be in various locations. We’ve identified the need to take some time to coach our team members with being able to think outside of the square.”

To the team from APSN Delta Senior School, Vincent, Azmi, Sharon, and Tai Wee, thank you for reaching out to Jigsaw Australia, travelling all the way from Singapore to learn more about our model, and sharing your knowledge and experiences with us! We sincerely appreciate your time and interest in us.

Peter, Anna, and Tristan, our Allianz colleagues, thank you for hosting us and giving your time to discuss our wonderful partnership. 

Disability employment is in the spotlight – now is the time for change and for employers to do better at diversifying their workforce. At Jigsaw, we’re leading the way in creating sustainable mainstream employment opportunities for people with disability, and we love to share our insights far and wide. 

Would you like to learn more about the Jigsaw model? Are you an employer who is open to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace to tap into the huge potential and skills that a person with disability can offer but are not sure where to start? We’d love to hear from you!

About Jigsaw

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. 

Jigsaw is located in Sydney, MelbourneBrisbane, Adelaide, and Canberra.