The Big Leap – Jock’s Story

Jock Gibson secured a work placement that has taken him to dizzying heights.

AJ Hackett Bungy NZ recognises that all people are different, and should be respected and supported as individuals, whether it’s doing your first Bungy Jump or getting your first job!

In early 2018, Recruitment and Training Officer Heidi Gillingham, observed that, despite employing a diverse range of over 220 people - who mirror and represent AJ Hackett Bungy’s broad customer base - the company had never before made a conscious effort to reach out to differently-abled people looking for employment, including the 24% of Kiwis who identify as disabled.

AJ Hackett Bungy NZ are now in regular communication with organisations and recruitment channels such as Workbridge, New Zealand Disability Support Network, Community Care Trust (CCT), FitForWork, Enrich+, Be. Accessible, JobCafe, Geneva Elevator, Deaf Aotearoa, Autism New Zealand and The Blind Foundation; and the list is growing. The purpose of working closely with these organisations is to share employment vacancies and so attract a broader range of applicants. This makes their recruitment process as accessible as possible, because access matters to AJ Hackett Bungy NZ.

The company is pleased to report that last summer they had their first successful placement with Jock Gibson; a candidate recommended by Simon McCosh, Dunedin CCT. Jock’s role included photographing and videoing customer activities, live video editing, production and post-activity sales at both the Kawarau Bridge and Nevis sites in Gibbston Valley, Queenstown.

Following Jock's employment, AJ Hackett Bungy NZ have shared their experiences with Otago University MBA students researching ‘Neurodiversity in Work’ and the ways in which accessible recruitment practices affect neuro-diverse applicants. The company is also keen to promote exposure of the Ministry of Social Development’s contract which has recently been extended to deliver Support Employment Services in Central Otago.

Heidi Gillingham says that, “AJ Hackett Bungy NZ is proud to be working towards more accessible employment and to contribute to CCT’s vision of ‘a world that truly values and celebrates diversity.’ In particular, we would like to thank Simon McCosh for recommending Jock to us, an awesome employee who truly embodies the #LiveMoreFearLess attitude!”

 

This is my access story, it is one of many. I'm sharing it because I want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.

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