“Hiring people with disability is a win-win whichever way we look at it.” – SEVA

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Specialised Emergency Vehicles Australia (SEVA) has been working with EPIC for almost two years, and have welcomed 4 valuable team members during that time. Engineering Manager Steve Harper says the business has benefited greatly through connecting with EPIC and Incentive Employment.

“Tracey came on board around 18 months ago in a Trade Assistant role and it worked out very well. Since then, EPIC has helped us secure four auto electrician apprentices, and if I need more I can just contact EPIC,” said Steve.

“We’d rather recruit through EPIC now. We’ve got a good relationship with them, and they have provided great staff.”

Steve describes his EPIC staff members as reliable, loyal employees who just needed someone to give them a chance to prove themselves.

“These are people that have had major challenges in their life, and just need a bit of help integrating back into the workforce,” said Steve.

“We [my business partner and I] had discussed hiring people with disability and liked the idea. When we were approached by Incentive Employment, we decided to go ahead with it.”

Steve says he has been given help when needed in his own life, and he wants to extend the same opportunity to others.

“My business partner and I weren’t always sensible businessmen,” laughs Steve.

“People took risks on us and gave us a chance. That’s what we want to do as well, and it’s worked out very well. Our 4 EPIC employees are some of the hardest working members of our team. I know they really appreciate the opportunity, and we appreciate having them here.”

Steve says EPIC has provided great post-employment support to his staff, connecting with them on-site as they familiarise themselves with their new roles.

“There’s been great support provided by EPIC. There’s also an economic benefit to hiring people with disability but it’s not about that, it’s about the difference it makes in these people’s lives. We feel really good about that,” said Steve.

“The way I see it, it’s a win-win whichever way we look at it. We’re very proud that we’re doing this and how well it’s going, and I would absolutely 100% encourage other businesses to give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose.”

Steve says a little open-mindedness and understanding is all it takes, and employers can be rewarded with hard-working and valuable employees.

“A lot of employers see a big gap in someone’s resume and they’re not interested. I would just encourage people to keep an open mind and think outside the box; you may well find excellent employees, as we have,” said Steve.

Nick Schubring is one of the SEVA apprentices, and he says connecting with EPIC has helped him score a job that he really enjoys.

“EPIC has been awesome, very helpful. They’ve helped me get this job at SEVA which is a very cool place to work,” said Nick.

Steve says with EPIC’s help, they can secure high-quality staff to keep up with their burgeoning business.

“We build emergency vehicles, and as a business we’re thriving. It’s a relief knowing we have great staff through EPIC,” said Steve.

“If anyone is considering hiring people with disability, I strongly encourage them to give it a go. Our experience has been extremely positive.”