After moving to WA from Tasmania 23 years ago, Ben Guy and his parents came to Forrest Personnel seeking help in getting work for Ben.
At 17 years old, Ben who is living with autism, wanted a job where he could work independently and alone most of the time. Forrest Personnel assisted Ben in gaining opportunities to try a few different jobs. Some of them worked out, some of them didn’t. But each opportunity helped Ben learn to work and communicate with others in varied work environments.
In the continuing search for the right opportunity for Ben, he and his Forrest Personnel Employment Consultant decided to do work experience in cleaning. From this, Ben learnt all aspects of cleaning in a domestic home, which led to paid employment by the homeowner. As Ben grew in his skills and abilities and with continuing support from Forrest Personnel, he felt very comfortable and capable in this role and moved to cleaning commercial buildings. His increased confidence led him to look for a more secure long-term job including, ultimately applying for a cleaner’s role at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School.
Now, with over 10 years of continuous employment with this employer, Ben works every day from 5.00 am -7:30 am as he enjoys getting up early and having the rest of the day to himself. According to Ben,
“The best part of the job is sweeping all of the verandas. My boss, Val and I have a coffee every morning and chat before I start work.” Ben says, “Life has really changed for me since I got my job. Now I have my driver’s licence and own a car. I moved out from living with my parents and learnt to manage my own unit, cooking and cleaning. I manage all my money and bills. I also save money well, for two holidays every year. I’ve been back to Tasmania and to Gladstone. This year I will go to Albany after Christmas.
Forrest Personnel has helped me learn the role of a School Cleaner. If I have any work issues or problems, they assist me to resolve them. I just had long service leave as I have been working there for 10 years. Forrest Personnel helped me plan when to do this. I also have a support worker from Life without Barriers and we go on drives in the country.”
His supervisor, Val Chalk, says Ben has “gone to another level” in his role, excelling in problem solving and working very efficiently and autonomously, consistently achieving a high standard of work.