Young guy with autism believes more people with disabilities should be employed
Palmerston North teenager Jeremy Price just wants to work on a dairy farm.
Diagnosed with autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) four years ago, he believes more people with disabilities should be employed.
“Not just on farms, but in other industries as well. People think the worst of any people whose CV shows they have a condition. But most people can do the job and should not be labelled.”
Price,17, is just a “normal” teenager, other than being open about living with his conditions.
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Heifer at the farm used by Land Based Training in Manawatū
He left school early after only six days this year at Freyberg High School in Palmerston North. Price knew farming was for him. After finishing up in the classroom he did a vehicle and machinery course for 15 weeks with training services provider Land Based Training.
He plans to complete other courses in farming systems and pasture and livestock production to learn more about farming.
Price only has high praise for Land Based Training Agriculture tutor, Neil Budge.
Budge helps him with preparing for job applications, searching e-sites, and going with him to any interviews.
Hopeful dairy farm worker, Jeremy Price, has ADHD and autism.
Price feels strongly that people who have a conditions or disabilities deserve to find work.
“We can do anything. Perhaps it is better not to be labelled with anything. That way you can go and talk to people and they can see what you are capable of.”
Price says rural people don’t necessarily want a CV only, but want to talk to potential employees as well.
Workbridge helps people with injuries, disabilities or who have an illness.
Peter Quinn the team leader for Manawatū and Wellington said the system worked well and employment consultants had between 25 and 40 people on their books.
“We have that many so we don’t get over-committed. We can support them all,” he said.
“Particularly relevant to our job seekers is positive disclosure. If we put you forward, an employer will want to know why you are working with Workbridge. We look to present that succinctly, and then it can be parked, and the potential employer and employee can get on with the interview.”
“It is not about medical labels. For instance someone might might struggle with ambiguity, and need clear instructions, due to their autism, but they might say if I have that I function normally.”
Quinn said job seekers would frame their position in a positive way and put “the elephant in the room to bed” and move on.
Jeremy Price is keen to work on a dairy farm.
That was part of the job preparation they received, he said.
Quinn said they often did not know how to go about applying for a job. Often they had a career and their life might change because of a health condition which had developed. “Often they don’t know how to go about addressing that with a potential employer.”
He says employers were a mixed bag when approached for work.
“Some are really supportive, and some will just close the door in your face.”
Quinn said they had partnerships with national companies such as, Z Energy, ACC and 2 Degrees. In Palmerston North they worked closely with national companies such as Spotless, which provides cleaning, catering and other services.
Workbridge provides support for a year to the employer and employee once someone gets a job.