Everyone is welcome at the Cape Gateway Motel

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

The Cape Gateway Motel in Mareeba takes pride in providing warm and friendly customer service, where everyone feels welcome. Part of creating this positive environment is to ensure the staff are representative of the community.

The manager of the Cape Gateway Motel, Mandy Andrews, made it a priority to hire a diverse and inclusive workforce.

“Inclusive hiring is a huge positive for the business. It means we can resonate with a broader range of customers,” said Mandy

“Having people of all different backgrounds and cultures brings a wider range of skills and experiences for everyone to draw on and learn from. It ensures we are always bringing fresh ideas on how we can improve for our customers and the bottom line.”

One of the motel employees William is on the autism spectrum and also has reading and writing difficulties. He has not let his disability stand in the way of excelling at his job.

William is a participant of the Disability Employment Service, EPIC Assist (EPIC). He joined EPIC after previously completing a school-based traineeship with them.

His EPIC Employment Consultant contacted Mandy to ask if she had any positions available at the motel. Initially, there were no roles available. However, Mandy stayed in contact with EPIC and, eventually, an opportunity arose.

While William waited for a job opening, EPIC helped him get an RSA Certificate, a COVID Workplace Certificate, and a Food Standards Certificate. This education ensured William was good-to-go once he got the call from Mandy.

William started at the motel in May 2021. Any reservations about hiring someone with a disability disappeared as soon as Mandy started training William.

“Training William was no more or less challenging than any other new person that comes on board. It is a learning curve for everyone when starting a new job. Ongoing, I find that a little extra reassurance and encouragement helps at times,” said Mandy.

When William first started, he was working at the motel’s café. His role mostly involved cleaning the kitchen and helping with food preparation. His eagerness to learn new tasks each week led to William becoming cross-skilled, working across the café and the motel.

“William is progressing well as he continues to move forward week on week. He is excelling in some areas and showing others how a good job is done!”

“William is a conscientious and reliable employee and a polite, kind, and caring teammate. He has fit in very well,” said Mandy

6 people stand together smiling behind the cafe counter
William is thriving thanks to the support from the Cape Gateway Motel team

EPIC continues to support Willaim and Mandy. William feels particularly comforted by the fact he can call his Employment Consultant whenever issues arise.

Not only is Mandy impressed by the ongoing support EPIC provides but also believes EPIC’s work in the Mareeba community makes a positive impact.

 “Organisations like EPIC truly are doing great work. Proactively contacting businesses to educate and raise awareness about hiring people with a disability makes a difference,” said Mandy.

When asked what advice she would give to other employers thinking of hiring someone with a disability, Mandy stated:

“Keep an open mind and look at what a person can bring to your business, rather than what they can’t. You might be pleasantly surprised at what else a person can bring to your business, beyond their work.”

If you are looking for employees who are talented, hardworking, and passionate, connect with EPIC today.

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