Finding a job in the current economy can be a huge undertaking, and worse still when there's an extra obstacle in the way like a medical condition. But that's why OCTEC is here to help.
OCTEC is a leader in aiding people and their communities to provide early pathways to employment and to help individuals adjust to changing employment conditions. To accomplish this, OCTEC programs traditionally focus on vocational education and training, disability support and employment services. A key to the success achieved by OCTEC has been tailoring training and support to individual needs and local circumstances. This has required OCTEC to continuously evolve as an organization over the 40 years of its existence.
The training, support and employment spheres in which OCTEC operates are becoming increasingly competitive. They are becoming increasingly dominated by large providers from both the public and private sectors. As a medium-sized provider from the community sector, OCTEC has been able to differentiate what it does, specializing in key areas of training and support, while maintaining a network of customized services across NSW, and in the ACT and Victoria.
OCTEC's Katie Connolly of OCTEC discussed the company's mission:
"We're a leader in helping people adjust to changing working conditions. We specialize in helping people with barriers to employment find work. They may have fallen ill, been injured, or have a medical condition that's preventing them from obtaining work or continuing in their jobs. A lot of people don't realize they're eligible for our assistance."
Connolly is a local who has several years' experience in employment services.
"I'm keen to educate employers in Gladstone about how reliable our clients can be in their workforce," she said. "OCTEC offers a recruitment portal where businesses can employ clients through a risk-free work experience program. People offered a chance to prove themselves are extremely appreciative of the opportunity. They're far more committed, hardworking and loyal because they really value the job. For some, it will be a job for life."
For employers, there are other benefits to be found.
"There's no risk to your business because all our clients are fully insured federally to gain a work experience placement which can be for up to two weeks in duration," Connolly commented. "The government also subsidizes employers to retrain and support their new employees and OCTEC can provide financial assistance as well. We also offer financial support for workplace modifications like a slightly wider door for wheelchair access. Plus if they recruit one of our clients, OCTEC can support that person ongoing for years to stay in that role."
The most important part of the job, she adds, is listening to both the employer and the client.
"Most of our clients know what assistance they need to get over the line and get a job," she said. "It may be retraining or a special piece of equipment. We're keen to help them succeed while building good relationships with employers."
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