Paul Bolton is the type of employee every business dreams of – enthusiastic, highly skilled, tertiary qualified, and with years of experience in Perth and abroad.
He is a self-confessed “adventure junkie” who loves flying.
Paul also has a disability. As the ‘main man’ for IT support at Good Sammy’s head office in Canning Vale, he’s lucky enough to be within the 48 per cent of working age Australians with disability who are employed.
“Almost 200,000 working age Western Australians with disability are unemployed. At a time when businesses are battling to fill positions, it’s staggering to think there’s an untapped employment pool going begging,” said Good Sammy CEO, Melanie Kiely.
Paul, from Westminster, started work in the Good Sammy retail stores, four years ago, before being promoted to IT and admin support for the whole Good Sammy Enterprises.
“I love to travel and have been all around Europe, America, Africa and Australia. I also love being up high – so have had a couple of lessons flying a plane and have been hot air ballooning and parachute jumping too,” Paul said.
“Once I moved to head office and started working in online sales, my skills and my role quickly shifted into IT.
“I had completed a degree in business and computing, which gave me most of my technical skills. My first job in the UK was a web services officer and then onto many IT-related jobs around the UK.”
Melanie Kiely said that employees like Paul are skilled, highly capable and passionate about their work.
“More than 80 per cent of working age (15-64) people with disability need no additional support from their employer to work,” Melanie said.
“Good Sammy helps me by NOT treating me like I’m different – they see me for the skills I have,” Paul agreed.
“I now have supervisor experience too. My ultimate goal here is to have my own IT team and be the Head of IT across the organisation”, he added.
Until then, Paul will continue to forge his career and break stereotypes about people with disability.
Across Perth, there are organisations that offer valuable support to people with disability and the businesses who employ them.