Workbridge, where abilities equal employment.
 

Employer Selwyn Cook takes on 'superstars'

Station Owner

Service station business owner Selwyn Cook doesn't have a specific policy of employing disabled people – but Workbridge has placed more than 70 people with him over the past three years.

"We are just looking for the best people possible for the roles and Workbridge keep on sending us a whole stream of superstars," said Selwyn, owner of SSC Service Stations which operates 14 licensed Z service stations across the Waikato.

Mr Cook said his connection with Workbridge began after he saw an episode of TVNZ's Attitude programme which produces character-driven content relating to disability. He called Workbridge and asked how he could help.

Since then employees who have joined SSC through Workbridge range from administrative staff in the corporate office to forecourt workers and site leaders.

Many have been with the company for several years now and flourished in their careers. One of Selwyn's team, Biju Thomas, who only has use of one arm, recently won a Z Energy Heroes award for excellence in customer service.

Selwyn's PA, Kim Smith, who is blind, joined the business through Workbridge last year. She said: "A lot of employers don't want to look past a disability so it's quite amazing to actually have an employer who is willing to work with my disability."

Selwyn's commitment to working alongside his disabled employees, to help them achieve their career ambitions, led to him being named the 2014 winner of the Attitude ACC Employer Award.

"I was very honoured by the award," he said. "The highlight of the evening was when a whole bunch of our people who have come to us through Workbridge came up onto the stage to join me. They had travelled up to Auckland secretly. That was a pretty special moment."

"We are just looking for the best people possible for the roles and Workbridge keep on sending us a whole stream of superstars."

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