Bill is back on the Forklift and thriving

Employee with a disability on a forklift doing a thumbs up

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About Bill

Bill is a supported employee who started employment with Marriott Industries in early 2020. Previously he had worked as a Forklift driver at an engineering company located in Hallam for two years after obtaining his Forklift license in 2017. His main duties involved unloading trucks of steel and transporting the goods to the appropriate locations in the warehouse. However, the work slowed down during COVID lockdowns and there was not enough work for him, which led to him unpredictably becoming unemployed.

Bill enjoys catching up with his friends at the pub on the weekend, attending karaoke nights at the wishing well in Chelsea, and spending time with his two kids who are twins in high school! He also likes to watch the footy and barracks for Richmond Football Club.

Starting supported employment with Industries

Finding employment for someone with a disability can be challenging and trying to find a job during unprecedented COVID lockdowns can make it even more difficult.

However, thankfully Bill found out about Marriott Support Services through a friend of his, Tarus, who is a supported employee with the Enviro team. Tarus and Bill play in a bowling team together at Zone Bowling on the weekends and have become great friends!

He agreed it would be a good opportunity for him to get back to working and make some new friends. He now works nearly every day of the week! ‘I love staying busy and working, I have every second Monday off which is good too!’

Bill has been able to offer his skills to enhance the whole production process at Industries. He is a valuable member of the team, he never complains, he remains focused and works hard to finish all jobs efficiently and to the highest quality standard. He is dedicated to getting the jobs done and most of all passionate about the success of the Industries team.

Bill has always been interested in operating machinery in the warehouse and loves to drive his car. His goal since his last job was always to get back to driving the forklift because that’s when he feels the happiest.

Bill enjoys working in the spice room and operating the new high-speed spice machine, as well as stocking up the unit 10 warehouse with Caesarstone products. This usually involves using a pallet jack to move the products across from one warehouse to the other.

Forklift training

Earlier in the year, Bill had a conversation with John the Warehouse Coordinator, and expressed that he wanted to do some refresher training on the Forklift. Although he already had a forklift license he felt as though he needed additional support and training to get back to his previous skill level and confidence on the Forklift. ‘We let Bill get on the Forklift any chance he can, when the warehouse isn’t busy it is the perfect time for him to practice his skills. ‘When Bill isn’t required in other areas of the warehouse, he is on the forklift’. – Kim Hearn, Senior Team Leader.

‘He enjoys carefully lifting the pallets and moving them to the designated areas in the warehouse. He has progressed over time and now he lifts pallets off large trucks and is becoming a lot faster’.  – Kim Hearn, Senior Team Leader

‘All the training has paid off and he is an amazing help to John. At the moment Industries is very busy and he is helping more than ever!’ Said Kim Hearn, Senior Team Leader

Bill loves utilising his skills in a supportive environment where he can go at his own pace and have John there to assist him if needed.

At Industries there are 3 different forklifts. Bill has completed training on the yellow electric forklift and the stand-up forklift, which increases safety. If someone were to fall off, the electric forklift would automatically stop, preventing any further accidents. It’s important to conduct proper training on each type as they can vary in speed, weight, turning capability and lift force. If someone knows how to operate one type of Forklift, it should not be assumed that they can operate all types. John has made sure that Bill gradually completes training on all three and focuses on one at a time to ensure he does not get the different features mixed up.

The stand-up forklift makes it easier for our forklift drivers to get on and off to speak with truck drivers and is more maneuverable as it requires less space. They are great for moving through the warehouse aisles.

‘I have seen a huge improvement in Bill’s capabilities on the Forklift since he first started. He is very confident now and needs little assistance from me. We have done training on all three different types of Forklifts here at Marriott. When I was on my Christmas break, I was confident that Bill would look after the Forklift’ – John Ramesa, Warehouse Coordinator

A challenge that Bill experienced when he first started at Industries was having to meet all new people and work in a completely different work environment to what he was used to. The environment was different from his last job, as when operating the forklift, he must be more aware of cars coming in all directions due to the shared traffic street. This was a challenge at first, but he is now used to taking extra precautions when operating the forklift and has done extra OHS training regarding this.

‘John has supported me in my forklift training and the team at Industries are really good to work with’. Bill’s highlight so far has been driving the forklift and making many new friendships, who he will stay friends for years to come.

Bill’s employment goal earlier in the year was to become a full-time Forklift driver at Industries. He is also considering becoming an Assistant Team Leader in the future as he would like to help others succeed and reach their full potential, just as the team leaders have allowed him to achieve his goals. Now, Bill has achieved that goal and he is on the Forklift every day and loving it! He is passionate and extremely motivated, and this is evident in his dedication to the smooth running of Industries.

At the Industries end of year party, Bill was nominated by his peers for the achievement award. Here is an image of Marriott’s CEO, Ann-Maree Colborne, presenting him with the Allan T Marriott award.

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