Story by Hayden Nelson
Adelaide local, Callum (26), is one of the paid trainees at Jigsaw who works with The Royal Automobile Association (RAA) to digitise their magazine catalogue.
After being made redundant during COVID, Callum was looking for work for 18 months, struggling to find an employer who would take him on and allow him to use and grow his professional skills.
This scenario is not uncommon, with Jigsaw finding 81% of Adelaide businesses agree there are barriers to hiring a person with disability. Nationally, 50% of Australian managers and HR professionals have never hired or worked with a person with disability. This is despite 2.1 million Australians with disability being of working age and less than half (47.8 per cent) being employed.
Jigsaw opened a hub in Adelaide CBD in 2022 to support local people with disability to train for and transition into mainstream employment. Callum joined Jigsaw’s comprehensive workplace-based training program and quickly progressed to a paid position within Jigsaw’s commercial digitisation and information management business, Jigsaw Digital.
Callum is part of the team digitising hundreds of samotor magazines, dated from 1980 to 1999. He now has ambitions to secure a mainstream office role and perhaps a leadership position – something he never thought he’d have access to prior to taking part in Jigsaw’s program.
Jigsaw commissioned YouGov to conduct market research with Australian managers and HR professionals to uncover their attitudes toward – and perceived barriers to – the employment of people with disability. With a backdrop of a Disability Royal Commission and reform of existing Australia Government Disability Employment Services (DES), Jigsaw aims to raise awareness and uncover the barriers to achieving inclusivity of Australians with disability in the workforce. Read the summary here.
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.