Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Opportunity is knocking

Service provider assists in Cobram local employment through local op shop.

TONI BRIENT March 25, 2014 4:34am

Dedicated: Julie (left) and Karen Vescio sort through piles of clothes donated to the PALS op shop.




For most people, getting a job is a normal part of growing up.

But for someone with a disability, it can be more complicated.

Skills like talking with customers or using a cash register are often difficult to learn.

But for Providing All Living Supports’ clients with disabilities, the move into the workforce just got easier.

The company has hired about 15 of its clients to work in its Broadway St opportunity shop.

The move began last year, with a group employed in the shop’s cafe and sorting donated goods out the back.

But now, PALS clients are manning the cash register and assisting customers on the shop floor.

PALS Cobram co-ordinator Linda Boyd said the clients embraced their jobs.

‘‘They love it,’’ she said.

‘‘It develops their self-confidence; their self-worth.

‘‘It’s so empowering for them and it’s amazing to see them develop.’’

The op shop is part of the PALS network, and its profits fund programs for its clients.

Mrs Boyd said the company had also begun viewing the work experience as a program in itself.

The clients receive payment for their work, but are also learning valuable skills.

‘‘We’re seeing this as pathways into the community, too,’’ Mrs Boyd said.

‘‘They can learn skills that might take them into jobs in the workforce.’’

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