Jackson Andrew: Redirecting a life-long passion

Image of a young man called Jackson Andrew is standing and learning against an orange car.

A painful condition meant Jackson Andrew had to quit the field he loved, but our Narrogin team worked to find him a new role that made the most of his passion for mechanics. This is his story.

I have a vascular malformation in my right hand – so I can use my hand just fine, but it’s painful.

I decided when I was 15 that I was going to pursue an apprenticeship. I finished high school when I turned 16 and started my qualifications. I always wanted to be a mechanic.

My dad had wanted to be a mechanic, he actually started his apprenticeship but then the company he was working with went broke, so he worked on mines and doing laboring. He never got a chance to finish his apprenticeship.

I wasn’t a great pupil at school, I felt like I was just wasting my time there. For an apprenticeship I could choose between boilermaker and mechanic – I chose mechanic.

I did my apprenticeship at the Farmers Centre Narrogin – I qualified as an engineering tradesperson mechanical (plant mechanic), then I went to McIntosh & Son to start an auto-electrical apprenticeship – I was planning to do my Cert IV and V which would have given me a Diploma.

I had heaps of plans to improve my qualifications but they all went to shit.

A difficult year

I ran myself into the ground, my hand became so painful. I could only do a couple of days work a week. In 2020, I quit. I didn’t work for nearly a whole year.

I tried to concentrate on getting my hand fixed so I could get back into mechanics – I had two procedures that involved giving me a local anaesthetic and then injecting a fluid into my hand several times.

It’s pretty painful, and then after the painkillers wear off, it’s excruciating. It takes about six to 12 weeks to settle down and then its supposedly meant to help my hand get back to normal.

My hand never went back to normal – the procedures failed and actually made my hand worse and left me in even more pain.

New role, same passion

I realised mechanics was not going to happen, and after that I just wanted to start some sort of job. I would have been happy to work anywhere.

I knew about Narrogin Auto Centre, and I always did think that car sales might be the way for me to go later on. As soon as I heard about the job from Forrest Personnel, I wanted to jump on it.

I’m just happy to have constant employment, now I can start catching up on other things.

I think I’ve slotted into the sales role pretty well, and I haven’t really looked back since.

What would I say to other employers? Well, my disability doesn’t stop me from doing my job. I think there are lots of people like that – I think employers could get great candidates if they consider people with a disability.

Forrest Personnel supports people with an injury, illness or disability to find and keep jobs.
If you’re a job seeker or an employer – we’d love to work with you. 
Send us an email or call us on 1800 224 548.