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atWork Australia partners with Essential Employment & Training

EET Essential Employment and Training Logo atWork Australia Logo

atWork Australia and Essential Employment Training agreement expands Disability Employment Services offer into Wollongong, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands

WOLLONGONG – Leading national Disability Employment Services (DES) provider atWork Australia and local provider, Essential Employment Training, have entered into an agreement to deliver disability employment services in Wollongong, the Southern Ranges and Shoalhaven areas of NSW, under the atWork Australia brand.

Chris Gandy, Chair of Essential Employment Training said the provider had been actively looking for the right partner for the ongoing delivery of DES across the region.

“It has been our privilege to deliver services to people with disability in the Illawarra and Southern Ranges region for many years. We recognised we could deliver even better Disability Employment Services by partnering with atWork Australia. The agreement means the people with disability and employers we work with get all the intimate community knowledge and commitment of the Essential Employment Training team, backed with the strong foundation of a well-resourced and equally committed national company,” he said.

Essential Employment Training will continue to provide support to people with disability under the NDIS and look forward to strategically partnering with atWork Australia to provide improved disability employment services. Mr Gandy said: “We are proud of our legacy and will continue to be an active member of our community through our delivery of NDIS services.”

General Manager of atWork Australia, Michael Kolomyjec, said the agreement expanded atWork Australia’s footprint from 48 Employment Service Areas to 50, providing employment support to people with disability across 184 locations in six states.

“We are also delighted to welcome 19 talented Essential Employment Training people to the atWork Australia team. People with disability who are looking for a job will still be dealing with the same great people, in the same locations offering an excellent service.

“The Essential Employment Training team is deeply connected to their local areas and part of the community fabric. Thirty-two years of participating in the community and changing lives is a huge achievement.

“That’s why this is such a great fit for us. While we are now a large DES provider, the key to our success remains building local connections and relationships and putting our clients at the heart of what we do. Together we will support hundreds of people with disability into meaningful employment across Wollongong, Shoalhaven and the Southern Ranges.”

The agreement took effect on 16 July 2018. Services will be delivered by the same people in the same locations with no disruption to clients. In the coming weeks, the disability employment locations will be branded as atWork Australia.

About atWork Australia

atWork Australia is a leading employment services provider working with Australians across the nation. We empower job seekers, supporting them to build better working lives.

To do that, we work with people to identify their goals and aspirations, build skills and job-readiness and support them through interviews and into employment – as well as work with prospective employers to ensure their needs are met. In short, our approach is to support a person in the way that most helps them transform their life.

Our people and the employers we work with regularly win national awards for excellence, including National Employment Services Association (NESA) awards and National Disability Services (NDS) awards.

Part of the Work Health Group, we deliver services under the Disability Employment Services, jobactive, Vocational Training and Employment Centre, ParentsNext and Career Pathway Pilot for Humanitarian Entrants programs, helping thousands of people into meaningful work since 2003.

First employment gained through PaTH Internship in the Shoalhaven

Wednesday, 4 October 2017, Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash and Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis MP dropped into The Dog & Monocle to congratulate Brock, Kylie of Essential Employment & Training & Carley Amey and Tess Thomas.

The Dog & Monocle co-owners, Carley Amey and Tess Thomas, could not speak highly enough of Brock.

“When we started this business, we knew we wanted to contribute and give back to the community. We found out about the PaTH program through Essential Employment & Training and the opportunity to trial and hopefully hire an unemployed young person, we thought that was exactly what we wanted to do,” Ms Amey said.

Ms Thomas said she and Carley were introduced to Brock through the local DES service, Essential Employment & Training about the PaTH process.

“He’s a wonderful addition to our business and has a fantastic attitude. We would definitely encourage other Nowra businesses to find out about the PaTH program and give a young unemployed person a go; they have a lot to offer,” Ms Thomas said.

Young people like Brock are getting real jobs thanks to the PaTH program. By doing an internship, Brock was able to demonstrate the value he could add to a business and he is now making a wonderful contribution,” Minister Cash said.

Kylie from Essential Employment & Training will continue to provide ongoing support to Brock & the owners at The Dog & Monocle.

Jenolan Caves Team Building Trip

Back in July our participants from Bomaderry, Goulburn and Wollongong partook in a team building retreat at Jenolan Caves. The idea of the weekend was to build strong bonds between staff and participants while spending downtime socialising and relaxing.

Throughout the weekend everyone explored the vast caves Jenolan has on offer, while also learning about the rich history and viewing some of the most breath taking monuments.
As well as the cave tours, the group also spent time walking along the serene Blue Lake, and even bumped into local wild life along the way.

The weekend was a great success, the group reconnected and got to know one another again and look forward to doing something similar in the future.

Wayne’s World

Wayne’s World


Wayne has been a user of our Disability Employment Service (DES) for approximately 2 years. Throughout that time Wayne tried his hand at a variety of job roles, but none gave him the level job satisfaction he so desired.

Wayne told DES staff he wanted a position that would suit his outgoing personality, provide him with opportunities to interact with others and offer him a career pathway.

Wayne’s detailed feedback helped DES staff to focus their employment search and better target opportunities for him. Employment Specialist, Tiv, found a Valet Driver job opportunity at Wollongong City Motors that he thought Wayne might be interested in. When Wayne heard about the job he jumped at the chance to apply, he saw the role suited his outgoing personality and would provide opportunities to put his customer service and communication skills to good use.

Tiv was able to present Wayne’s resume to Wollongong City Motors management ahead of any other potential applicants, this worked in Wayne’s favour and he got a call back for an interview.

The DES team worked with Wayne to prepare him prior to the interview so when it came time for the real thing Wayne only had to put what he’d learnt into practice. Cut to two weeks later, Wayne received confirmation his interview was successful and he was now a Valet Driver at Wollongong City Motors! Wayne was over the moon and the team at Essential Employment and Training couldn’t be happier for him. All the best Wayne!

Stephen applies for Supported Living funding

Stephen applies for Supported Living funding

Stephen has been attending our Community Participation program since 2012 when he received funding to participate 3 days a week. During his time with Essential Employment and Training (EET) Stephen has shown a love for dancing, fishing, playing sports and spending time out in local community socialising, sometimes going for a beer or a BBQ. Stephen expressed that he would like to spend more time with EET staff support to do the things he loved while also getting some assistance at home.

Our staff helped Stephen to successfully apply for a Supported Living fund package, this extra funding went directly towards providing Stephen with extra in home support. This means EET staff can now assist Stephen in the morning when his carer can not, our staff help Stephen to prepare meals and shower, getting ready for the day ahead. The extra time spent with Stephen also gives our staff an opportunity to provide independent living skills training in his own home. Stephen also used some of his funding to purchase much needed supportive technology for his home, including a shower chair, easy to use microwave, temperature setting on the hot water system and support rails.

Stephen continues to receive one on one support each week to do the things he loves, Stephen has built life long friendships at EET and loves being a part of the EET family, it’s become his second home.

Stephen Francis has been attending our program since 2012.

Stephen commenced EET with an active aging package and came 3 days per week. This wasn’t enough for Stephen, he wanted to come more. He loved going out in the community socializing with others. He loves to dance and go for a beer and BBQ. He loves fishing and playing sports he loves arts and crafts this is what he wanted to do more of.

Stephen was lucky enough to receive a supported living fund package, which abled us to spend time with Stephen in his home, teach him independent skills and give Stephen more opportunity to enjoy the things he loves doing.

Stephen has used his package to help him in the home. He has purchased many items that supports his needs such as a shower chair, easy to use microwave, temperature setting on the hot water system, lawn mowing, rails and more.

Stephen has staff that come in and help him prepare for the day with meals and showers. When his carer can not do it.

Stephen uses his package to attend EET’s yearly camp/retreat and uses his package to participate in group activities  and 1:1 activities every day of the week.

Stephen has built life long friendships and doesn’t  want to be any where else.

Stephen loves EET and the things we do with him. This is his second home and family