Good News Stories

A Message to the OCTEC Team from the OCTEC Limited Chairman - March 2018

I’m writing to you at a historic moment in life of our organisation, at the threshold of a time of unprecedented growth. Many of you will already know that OCTEC Employment Service is expanding but you may not know the full extent and scope of that growth.Join the OCTEC team

I’d like to take a moment to outline the background to what will be happening over the next three months and to formally congratulate all involved in the 2017 DES Grant Application.

As a result of consistent and outstanding program performance in Disability Employment Services, we received notification from the Commonwealth Department of Social Services in August 2017 that OCTEC would continue to deliver DES in all 18 of our current Employment Services Areas. This was achieved without the need to tender for those services.

This business rollover was important for two major reasons. Firstly, it provided certainty for all our DES staff that they would be able to continue their outstanding work assisting people with injury, illness or disability to secure and maintain meaningful employment.

Secondly, it allowed our tender team to concentrate their efforts on securing contracts for OCTEC in new Employment Services Regions. And in this regard, OCTEC performed magnificently. From July 2018, our Disability Employment Services will quadruple in size, expanding our geographic reach into Queensland and regional Victoria, with major expansion in metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney.

This result means that from July 1st, OCTEC will become Australia’s largest Not-for-Profit Organisation DES provider in the country, delivering DES services across NSW, ACT, Victoria and Queensland. We will hold 110 contracts (ESS and DMS) with more than double the current number of sites.

This is a shining example of the respect with which OCTEC is held in government, as well as the outstanding work of our managers and staff. And yes that relates principally to the managers and staff of OCTEC Employment Service and I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Chris Clark and Adam Swist in delivering such a strong DES outcome for OCTEC.  Our reputation with the funding bodies and in the communities in which we work is based on everything we do, on every program we deliver.

Congratulations to our CEO Andrew McDougall, and every member the OCTEC Team for delivering on this expansion to our community business.

The next three months will be particularly busy as we set up new sites, recruit new teams and prepare to deliver our high quality services in a diversity of communities in which we have never delivered before. It is a brave new world for OCTEC but one that offers exciting opportunities.

On behalf of OCTEC’s Board, I’d like to thank you again for your efforts in bringing OCTEC to this point, and for the many and varied contributions you will all make over the next three months, three years and beyond.

Jeff Whitton
OCTEC Chairman

Central West (Parkes) Tristan Carr & 'Signs You See' - March 2018

OCTEC Limited love celebrating good outcomes, and Parkes TtW participant Tristan Carr and his employer Signs You See definitely fit that description.

Tristan really enjoyed working at the Parkes based business from the start. Tristan’s manager Kirsty was quick to identify that Tristan’s work ethic and enthusiasm would make him an excellent apprentice.  The nearest TAFE that provided the course Tristan needed was in the Hunter/Central Coast, so initially it looked like a dead end.

Tristan’s Transition to Work consultant, Michelle Mahlo, worked with Kirsty to find a pathway for Tristan to become an apprentice. After some navigating by his employer and OCTEC, Tristan has started his apprenticeship in Signage and Graphics via correspondence with TAFE NSW Hunter & Central Coast. The Apprenticeship Board and TAFE will make regular visits to see how Tristan is progressing. He has also started a welding course at TAFE Western –Parkes College which will be accredited to his apprenticeship.

The opportunity that Signs You See have offered Tristan has opened up a vocational pathway for him that will see him equipped with skills and qualifications that will last a lifetime. We’re so happy for both Tristan and the team at Signs You See.

Congrats Guys!

Macleay (Kempsey) - Employment Service - Elinore and Denise - February 2018

Mature-aged workers can be a real asset to any business, bringing experience, knowledge and maturity. Sometimes, however, they experience age discrimination. OCTEC works closely with mature-aged job seekers, helping them explore opportunities and gain the skills they need to embark on a new career.

Denise came to OCTEC Kempsey looking to expand her horizons. She was working one day per week at a local Neighbourhood Centre, and while she was keen to increase her hours, she was hesitant to put herself forward. Denise really wanted to work in the Neighbourhood Centre’s Financial Counselling program, as she found the program to be a great help. However, she needed specific qualifications to achieve this goal.

OCTEC’s Kempsey Employment Consultant, Ellinore, worked with Denise and the Neighbourhood Centre, negotiating avenues for Denise to work additional hours and exploring training options to help her realise her career goal. With assistance and encouragement from Ellinore, Denise now works two days per week at the Neighbourhood Centre and, with the Centre’s support she enrolled in a Certificate IV in Community Services (Financial Counselling) at TAFE.

ACT - Transition to Work : Harsha and Josie February 2018

Sometimes all we need is a little understanding, some guidance and positivity. Josie was a young woman who came to OCTECs ACT Transition to Work service in August 2017. She was in need of paid employment to help her overcome financial hardship. With limited work experience and low confidence, Josie needed some positive career guidance. Enter Harsha, our Career Consultant in Tuggeranong.

Harsha and Josie worked together, undertaking career planning and developing a resume for Josie. Harsha assisted with job applications and preparation for interviews. She also arranged driving lessons, to help Josie secure her licence, increasing her transport options.

With Harsha in her corner, there was no stopping Josie! She applied for a Sales Assistant role with Spend-less Shoes, but was actually offered an Assistant Manager role after the interview. What’s more, after only a few months, Josie is now receiving Manager training. What an outstanding result!

The Entrance (Central Coast) - Transition to Work : Justin 10 January 2018

When Justin first commenced with OCTEC in our TTW program he lacked confidence and was extremely quiet. Justin's consultant Jamie knew he needed a qualification to help him build a platform he could start his TTW journey from.

Within 6 weeks of commencement Justin was enrolled into Australian Retailers Association’s Certificate III in Retail and completed this on the 23/11/2017. 

Justin was incredibly proud of himself as it was the first certificate he had ever gained. Completing this course boosted Justin’s self-esteem and gave him a drive to succeed. It was a pleasure to see him come out of his shell.

Upon completion of his course Justin set himself the goals of gaining his provisional driver’s license and full time employment. To assist Justin in achieving these goals Jamie organised a spot in the PCYC Safer Driver course. Justin then gained his full provisional license. 

Justin was referred to a vacancy sourced by OCTEC Staff as a sander/factory hand with Planit Kitchens where he shined in the interview and was successful in gaining the position. 

Planit Kitchens are very impressed with Justin and his drive to undertake tasks and learn new skills, they see his employment as being long term and sustainable well into the future. Justin is pictured with Ashley Dauson from Planit Kitchens 
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Justin and Jamie on their hard work and a fantastic outcome. Happy 2018 Justin!
 

The Entrance (Central Coast) - Transition to Work : James Edwards 22nd December 2017

James Edwards commenced with Transition to Work as a 21 year old Indigenous principal carer parent.

As a young single parent James was very concerned that finding a job that would still allow him to care for his child would never happen.

His consultant Linden Drew took this on board, advising James that he would do his best to find an employer who would understand James’ needs as a parent.

Local employer Panarotti's Pizza Pasta at Tuggerah interviewed James after Linden did some face to face marketing. James was successful in gaining the position.

The change in James’ outlook and the new found confidence he displayed as a result of working is something the TTW team, especially Linden, are proud to be involved with.

We wish James and his young family all the very best for 2018!

Lakehaven (Central Coast) - Transition to Work : Leighanna Small  13 December 2017

When Leighanna was referred to OCTEC she was facing a number of barriers but she also had a number  goals.

Leighanna wanted the indepence of having her drivers licence, a qualification and to break the cycle of long term unemployment.

Octec’s Tara Dibben and Leighanna worked together and built a relationship based on trust and co-operation. They drew up a to do list and started working towards ticking goals off.

 Leighanna has obtained her provisional drivers licence. Octec paid for driving lessons and  the Safer Drivers Course with PCYC.

With the first goal ticked off Leighanna and Tara turned their attention to gaining a qualification. With hard work and determination Leighanna obtained a Certificate III in Retail and soon after a position with McDonalds in Wyong.

Octec made sure Leiha

Leighanna has been in her job for almost 6 months and has achieved each of the goals she set herself. Octec are extremely proud of her determination and work ethic!

 

Toukley (Central Coast) - Transition to Work : Early School Leavers - 26 October 2017

We’re so proud of Shannon and David, two of our Toukley TTW clients.

They were invited to attend the Early School Leavers Committee Meeting hosted by the Department of Education. They stood up and addressed the committee on how the TTW program has positively impacted both of them.

Shannon and David wowed Bronwyn Flannigan from the Department with their confidence when they spoke about their lives before TTW, and how the program and the OCTEC team have helped to support them and encourage them.

OCTEC TTW Consultant’s Chloe Butler and Katrina Woodland proudly watched on while Shannon and David took the floor to speak about their educational pursuits and personal development.


North Ryde (North Sydney) Trent and John - 29 September 2017

OCTEC Ltd are really proud of our Career Consultants, especially their ability to engage with their participants and create a positive difference in their lives.

Our people are all about empathising with a person's situation but sometimes building trust takes more than empathy.

OCTEC's John Collins and our North Sydney participant Trent Morris are both keen surfers. They built their relationship through a common love of surfing and Trent's accurate surf forecasting from Narrabeen to Freshwater Beach!

After working together with John, Trent is happily enjoying glassy waters now he's employed at Bill Buckle Motors.


Glen Innes (New England) - Alex McGilvray - 27 September 2017

Congratulations to Alex McGilvray our Glenn Innes participant who is starting a new career as Parks & Recreation Assistant with Glen Innes Severn Council!

Alex's consultant Katrina Jennings has been there every step of the way advocating for Alex. His goal was to obtain employment with the local council. He spent significant time obtaining qualifications and working with Katrina.

Alex’s motivation and self-belief has never wavered and to see Alex gain meaningful employment in the industry he has strived for is a career highlight for Katrina.


Ballina (North Coast) - Rebecca and Sharon - 20 September 2017

A picture is worth a thousand words!

OCTEC North Coast consultant Rebecca is pictured congratulating Sharon Davis on her new role as an Assistant in Nursing at Bupa Aged Care, Ballina. 
Rebecca was committed to making sure Sharon had a career, not just a job. This commitment meant helping Sharon complete a Cert III in Individual Support.

OCTEC is committed to ensuring our participants obtain the right qualifications to get them into the industry their interested in working in.

The pride on both Rebecca and Sharon's face says it all. Congrats on your new vocation Sharon!