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Workbridge, Where abilities equal employment

Andrew Hoffmann has been given the ultimate mark of confidence by his employer: a promotion.

Previously a customer service representative, Andrew is now second in charge at the New Brighton Z service station in Christchurch.

Andrew gained diplomas in management and business before developing a neurological symptom disorder that impacts on his mobility. He joined Hattrick Services, which runs the service station, over a decade ago.

“Not long after I started, my disability got worse and I wasn’t able to work for a while. Once I recovered I came back, on a trial basis at first, and I have been here ever since,” says Andrew.

“I worked the overnight graveyard shift for about eight years but switched to days two years ago and was promoted a few months ago.”

Hattrick operations manager Anton Hutton describes Andrew as a great team member who adds huge value to the service station.

“Andrew is very self-aware of his condition and ensures he operates safely. He will take a seat when he needs it, while always moving his team forward in the service stakes.”

Building relationships

Andrew accesses Ministry of Social Development support funds through Workbridge. The funds help cover any extra costs to employees that are a direct consequence of their disability.

In Andrew’s case, the funds cover the cost of taxi travel between home and work, as he is not able to drive.

Hattrick has recruited more than 60 people through Workbridge over the past eight years, and Anton says he has a very good relationship with the employment service.

“They build relationships and get to know what you are looking for. We want people with personality and drive. If I do 10 interviews, four of them will probably come from Workbridge and often they are the best candidates – people looking for that opportunity.”

When he’s not working, Andrew does lots of walking to keep fit and to help him manage his disability. He often walks for 15-20kms, recently completed a half marathon and is in training for the next one.

His colleagues at the New Brighton service station take his disability in their stride, says Andrew. “I work with a great bunch of very relaxed people.”

 

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