Bringing employers and workers together

SIOBHAN LEATHLEY
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2014
Akanesi Katoa
Supplied
ANZ service consultant Akanesi Katoa was recruited from Workbridge.

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Improved technology will help Workbridge assist more disabled and injured New Zealanders into employment.

Workbridge is a professional employment agency for disabled people with all types of disability, injury and illness.

ANZ contact centre senior manager Frances Maddren said the bank started recruiting from Workbridge 12 months ago.

She said it was difficult to recruit call-centre staff, however, the non-physical nature of work and emphasis on personality and communication skills suited recruits.

"They just need to have a good mindset and be able to talk."

She said the call centre acted as a breeding ground for promotion, into other areas within banking.

"There's one lady, who is missing her hand, who is bilingual - she speaks Japanese- but because 80 per cent of her job is talking with only a small-amount of computer work, she has become very efficient at what she does."

Maddren said having a job and private income had increased the woman's confidence.

Workbridge chief executive Grant Cleland said Workbridge jobseekers were suited to a number of roles from those more labour-intensive, to administration and professional work.  

"The disability community have the same sorts of skills as everyone else."

People were referred to Workbridge through Work and Income, the tertiary sector and agenices working within the disability sector.

Workbridge then places jobseekers with either existing employers- those who have hired previous jobseekers - or with employers which have a proven history of corporate social responsibility.

"We are also working with large employers such as Vodafone to access a broader range of jobs for disabled jobseekers."

Last year, Vodafone revamped Workbridge's technology, by replacing traditional phone lines with a cloud-based solution and introducing video conferencing. 

Vodafone Key Account manager Graham Wood said this technology would help bring jobseekers and employers closer together.

"This is likely to increase uptake and improve the efficiency of each employment placement."

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- Fairfax Media

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