Inclusive workforce elevates local business

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When the equipment rental and sales business Uphire, located in Jamisontown, decided to diversify their workforce and hire people with disabilities, they discovered more talent than expected.

“We were pleasantly surprised at the skills and abilities the candidates had,” said Uphire Business Service Manager Ilsa Walsh.

“It was an education for us as to how successful people with disability could be in our workplace,” said Ilsa, referring to Jeffrey and Jake, who were hired through NOVA Employment Penrith.

“As our service team grew we needed workshop assistants and trades assistant roles.

“We were looking for people who would be committed and focused on the tasks involved, and felt that Nova would be a good fit,” said Ilsa.

Uphire, whose customers range from tier 1 builders through to every trade in construction and includes traffic equipment and vehicle hire, is an independent business established 10 years ago by owner Nigel McKinley.

Since its opening, Uphire has grown from a small business to an operation with a fleet of hundreds of machines and approximately 25 employees.

Jeffrey, 26, who lives with anxiety, was initially employed as a Workshop Assistant in June 2020 and worked in the wash bay, but his drive and dedication recently landed him a mechanic apprenticeship.

Jeffrey impressed Uphire so much, he was offered an apprenticeship.

“Jeff’s reliability and commitment to his role were key,” said Ilsa.

“Jeff was also very persistent in talking about his ambitions and his desire to progress his career.

We look for employees who want to stay with us and contribute for the long term, and we definitely saw those qualities in Jeff,” said Ilsa.

Adding “Over time Jeff’s skills and experience have expanded and he can take on anything we throw at him in the workshop, including stocktake and record-keeping.”

Uphire was so impressed with the talent they’d tapped into, they recently employed another worker through NOVA, 29-year-old Jake, who also lives with anxiety.

“Having pre-vetted and trained candidates who are ready to work certainly speeds up the hiring process,” explains Ilsa, who received a short-list of potential candidates from NOVA, with those matching the skillset the position required.

Jake is a valued worker at Uphire Penrith.

“Also Nova’s assistance in providing their candidates with extra training and things like a forklift licence helps speed up our on-boarding process.”

NOVA Employment offers free recruitment services across all industries and business sizes.

For more information contact NOVA Employment Penrith Manager, Tony Herrera by
Phone 0416 042 740 or email [email protected]

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