Workbridge, where abilities equal employment.

Glen hooks great new career

Glen Knowles

Glen Knowles had 28 years of employment behind him as a mechanic and truck driver when he was struck by a vehicle door at work, suffering a debilitating injury which led to him becoming unemployed.

"I have a severe back, neck and shoulder injury which causes chronic pain and requires ongoing treatment," said Glen. "My specialist said I could never work as a driver or mechanic again so I was medically retired. Basically, everything I was qualified for I could no longer do".

Glen, from Cambridge, applied for several positions but wasn't considered because at that time his condition prevented him from working full time.

"My fiancée was keeping things going financially as I was pretty depressed and had lost confidence in my own ability to get a job," he said. "Then my mother heard about the service Workbridge provides for jobseekers."

"A meeting was set up for me at the Waikato centre, even though I wasn't feeling much like meeting people and had to force myself to go along. However once I met employment consultant Rosemary Ryan I was glad I had. I found her so friendly and helpful."

Rosemary asked Glen about his qualifications, experience and interests, helped him to draw up a new CV with a covering letter and provided help with his interview skills.

"Before my accident I played a lot of sport, been very keen on the outdoors and on pig hunting," said Glen. "Rosemary started looking at jobs where I could use that knowledge."

One of the first roles Rosemary suggested was in sales at Hamills Fishing & Hunting store in Te Awamutu. She approached owner Mark Mackie who was looking for someone for Fridays and Saturdays and to fill in at other times as needed.

The business prides itself on its "friendly and experienced" staff and Glen fitted the bill. He was hired in September 2014 after nine months of unemployment.

"I was really nervous before my interview but Rosemary had done a lot of the groundwork which really helped," said Glen. "I would never previously have pictured myself in a retail role but I absolutely love the position. I've already been given quite a few extra hours.

"My message to anyone who finds themselves in a similar position, with illness, injury or disability impacting on your employment options, is to contact Workbridge. They are a great bunch of people who are brilliant to deal with. Without them I would never have had the confidence to apply for this job."

"I absolutely love the position."

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