Port Macquarie man thrilled that someone gave him a chance at employment

George Lewis is a passionate and dedicated man who has the desire to succeed – but it hasn’t always been this way.

After breaking bones in his foot, George found himself unemployed for just under two years after a long road of physiotherapy, leg braces and crutches.

“I had to wear a moon boot for six months and wasn’t able to get around easily – it was so frustrating,” George said.

“I’m not the kind of person to just sit around, it wasn’t good for my self-esteem and mindset. I loved to ride my bike and surf but all of that was put on hold.”

Due to his injury George had limited endurance levels and struggled standing for long periods of time. This greatly affected his confidence to re-enter the workforce.

“Before my accident I was working in the Aged Care industry but I didn’t feel comfortable returning to that line of work due to my injury. My foot is still healing to this day,” George said.

“Also I believe that it’s really hard for mature aged people like me to find work.”

George was enrolled into the Disability Employment Services (DES) program with ETC in Port Macquarie and started seeing DES Consultant Jacqui Farrawell.

“I identified that George needed a confidence boost, so I booked him into our Retail and Hospitality WorkIT courses. George was placed into work placements which he dedicated himself to brilliantly,” Ms Farrawell said.

George’s Trainer Belinda Dykes said that he showed a great enthusiasm, was really focused and attentive to the details of his service and the customers.

“He is a team player and demonstrated this in many ways from helping fellow students to master a new skill to using his own initiative to help staff at the training venue during busy service times,” Ms Dykes said.

Both Belinda and Jacqui could see George’s confidence grow and he gained momentum to put himself out there to apply for more jobs locally.

“ETC helped me to tweak my resume, write cover letters and work on some strategies to find me a suitable job,” George said.

Within a week of completing the WorkIT training courses, George received his first interview at Café 8 and was offered a job straight away.

“George seemed really keen and I thought I’d give him a try. A lot of people his age are told to go away but I could see some potential in him,” said Café 8 Manager Tony Kukla.

“He is fitting in really well and is a good all-rounder – nothing’s too hard for him.”

George said he was very passionate about the food industry and enjoyed his job so much that it didn’t even feel like “work”.

“I cannot thank ETC enough for all the help and support provided over my unemployment period,” George said.

“And I’m so grateful to my employer – that they just gave me a chance.”

ETC provides specialist help to people with disability, illness or injury to find and keep a job. Call us on 1800 007 400,  or drop into an ETC office in Port Macquarie, Wauchope or Laurieton.

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