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Job seeker living with autism finds a job that perfectly fits his personality at Fantastic Furniture

30-year-old Shane had spent most of the past 10 years unemployed, and he was tired of it.

He’d dealt with a slew of Disability Employment Service (DES) providers, and felt like they weren’t giving him the support he needed to find work.

This was until he was referred to ETC’s DES team in Port Macquarie.

“My experience with ETC was very positive. They were helpful, supportive, and stayed in touch with me regularly,” said Shane.

A huge bonus was that he was able to build a strong rapport with his ETC Jobs Advisor Dave Hearne.

“Dave and the team explained things to me in a different way than my previous providers… In a way that I understood. In plain English!” Shane said.

How ETC helped Shane address his barriers

Off to a positive start, Dave began helping Shane address his barriers.

With his diagnosis of Autism, Shane’s main struggles were around social interactions.

He had difficulty maintaining eye contact, struggled in a group setting and found it hard to make small talk.

“In the past it was hard to find employment because I felt there was nothing much around that suited me (or my diagnosis).”

To help Shane get job ready, he was referred to some of ETC’s (jobLab) employability courses. These especially helped build his confidence in group settings.

ETC then assistance Shane with some additional training including RSA, RCG, and First Aid Certificates.

This combination of activities helped Shane build self-belief and secure work in a back of house position at a local bar & restaurant!

But this was just his starting point.

Finding a job that suited Shane’s personality, traits and abilities

“Needing more hours, we continued helping Shane apply for other positions,” said Dave.

“And we were all thrilled when he landed a role at Fantastic Furniture as a customer service and warehouse assistant!”

Shane too was over the moon about securing the job.

“Well, the answer is in the wording… it’s FANTASTIC!” he said.

“The best part about my job is that it fits my personality and traits. It was made for me. The role fits with the way I see and understand things. It is like the job was made for me.”

With a preference for routine, minimal social interactions and using his acute attention to detail – this role suited Shane’s diagnosed autism perfectly!

“Since starting this role I have seen Shane’s drive and confidence grow. He initially came across as apathetic and resigned to the system and treadmill of not working,” said Dave.

“But he now has a sense of pride, independence and has developed a strong work ethic to not only work and work hard, but better himself with continuing education.”

Shane’s goals for the future

After now working for almost 12 months, Shane has gone from unemployed and shy, to outgoing, confident and employed.

He is also enrolling himself into a Certificate IV course, in preparation for tertiary education. He wants to study a Bachelor of Economics.

“I’ve got money coming in and I’m about to undertake a bridging course to get into university. I want to complete a degree in Economics and plan to make it big with a share market portfolio,” said Shane.

“I’ve never had a goal in the past. And now I have got a 5-year plan!”

With money, means and a vision. The sky is the limit for this young go getter.

Disability Employment Services

ETC provides Disability Employment Services (DES) in QLD’s Gold Coast and the NSW regions of North Coast and Mid North Coast. To see if this service is delivered by ETC in your area, view our locations page – Find your closest ETC site >

You can also find a full list of providers across Australia on jobaccess.gov.au

Do you want help reaching your goals like Shane?

Call our friendly DES team on 1800 007 400 or fill out the Enquire Now form on this page.



Get one of our friendly staff to contact you today.

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