Workbridge, Where abilities equal employment

Despite his excellent qualifications, Zane Wederell struggled to find a job when he was ready to enter the workforce.

Zane, who has Asperger syndrome, started applying for IT jobs after gaining a diploma in information and communications technology.

He had been head boy of his school and did well in his exams, but couldn’t find work that challenged him or provided him with the kind of career opportunities he was looking for.

Zane wasn’t being offered interviews for the jobs he applied for, so he got in touch with Workbridge. Employment consultant Debora Pedersen-Gould, from Workbridge’s Greymouth centre, met Zane to discuss his qualifications, skills and interests.

Debora helped Zane improve his CV and covering letter, and coached him on interview techniques, communication skills and social skills.

When Zane’s new CV and cover letter won him an interview for an IT role at Westland Milk Products’ Hokitika office, Debora helped him prepare.

Gaining the confidence to succeed

“Because of my Asperger’s, I’m quite nervous. Debora gave me a lot of help about making that all-important first impression and that gave me more confidence,” says Zane.

“I had a phone interview first and was invited in for a second interview. Next I was invited in to do some work experience and then I was offered the job.

“I really enjoy the work. It is great to be able to use my skills and do a job which stretches me. I work with a great team of people and the team is very supportive.”

Debora briefed Zane’s immediate managers about Asperger syndrome before he started work, and has continued to provide support as needed.

“Westland look after their people very well. It’s a great job and feedback on his performance has been very good. His managers have encouraged Zane to step up and take responsibility for a complete area, and Zane is doing that,” she says.

Westland information systems and technology manager Nick Wakefield says Zane was the best candidate for the job and had the right skills to get the work done. “I continue to receive positive feedback from the business on Zane’s excellent IT support, and he has the respect of his colleagues.”


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