Malek is 18 years old and is living with an intellectual disability. He joined MTC’s Disability Employment Services (DES) program earlier in 2020 with the hope of finding sustainable employment.
He originally worked with Shukria Khan, our Regional Performance and Partnership Manager for DES, who was confident that with assistance, the right job opportunity and the right employer, Malek would be able to start working and remain employed into the future. To Malek, this confidence from Shukria meant the world: “Shukria was fantastic. She always check in and asked me how I was feeling and was always contactable,” he says.
In June, Malek began his job search with John Grimes, one of our Recruitment Partners. He informed John that he wanted nothing more than to work at a car wash, just like the person he looks up to and admires – his older brother, who is also living with an intellectual disability.
John arranged a meeting with the owners of VIP Car Care in Yagoona, who were open to the idea of working with Malek. Once the owners met Malek, they instantly knew he was going to fit in well, and they were prepared to work with him as long as it took for him to get settled and learn the tasks he’d need to complete on a daily basis. “This understanding by an employer of the needs of a new employee in the workplace is crucial to sustainable employment,” says John.
Before long, Malek started work at the car wash and was thriving in his first two weeks at a workplace that understood him and made him comfortable. Unfortunately, his grandfather was rushed to hospital one evening and Malek contacted John and his employer to advise that he wouldn’t be attending work the next day so that he could stay by his grandfather’s side. Malek’s employer advised that he could take as much time as he wanted and that they’d be there for him if he needed anything.
Sadly, the next evening, Malek’s grandfather passed away, leaving him devastated due to how close the pair were. John and Malek spoke the next day, and whilst Malek was emotional, he told John he would really like to go back to work so that he could keep occupied and feel productive, and that’s just what he did.
John says “I’m so proud of this young man and his achievements so far, and there are plenty more to come. The best news of all is that Malek is now in his fourth month of employment at VIP and is learning new things every day. He’s so happy.”
With a smile, Malek says the best part of working is “not having to ask my mum for money anymore”, and that his goal is to eventually open his own business with his brother.
On his experience with MTC, Malek is full of praise for John, who he says has a massive heart and helped him find a job. Malek articulates “I would recommend MTC to everyone because of the way I was treated. I have an intellectual disability and just want to say thanks to them for helping me, and most of all for asking how I’m feeling, listening to me and helping me get a job in a carwash which is exactly what I wanted.”
As an organisation, we’re so pleased to see Malek achieving his goals and can’t wait to see what’s in store for him in the future.
Learn more about MTC’s Disability Employment Services program here.