When asked what it felt like to hear the words “We’d like to offer you the job” 19-year-old Aiden Kraft said it felt “pretty awesome”.
“I rang my parents to tell them the good news, then I rang Bret (from Joblife Employment) and then my recruitment consultant, Jacqui,” he said.
As a young man with Asperger’s, Aiden knew he would one day become a welder – he just didn’t expect it to come so quickly.
“I really loved learning welding at school. I found I was good at it and enjoy working with metal, seeing things take shape,” he said.
“I thought I’d end up being a welder – I got there quicker than I thought.”
Through Jacqui Webster from Adelaide’s Recruitco and Bret Welch from disability employment service, Joblife, Aiden was put forward as a candidate to a large business with a sensitive government contract.
Jacqui said Aiden presented well on a phone interview, and then face to face, and she was confident he would be a great asset to the host employer.
“He really impressed the employer – he had a great skill set and fitted will with their team. He’s been with them for over six months and is always ready to do extra work when they need him.”
In fact, Aiden regularly works six days a week.
“It is not just about the money, it’s about the chance to learn new skills every day,” he said.
For Jacqui, helping a person with a disability get their foot in the door in their dream job makes her work just that bit more special.
“It’s not about their disability, it’s about their ability. If they have the passion and the skill-set I am more than happy to put someone forward if I think they can do the role. Aiden’s health condition has not been an issue for me or the host employer at any time.”
And as for Aiden, his message to people looking to hire someone with Asperger’s is simple.
“Give them a go. We might need a little more time and patience to start with but once we’ve got the job you won’t regret it.”
And for other job seekers with disabilities?
“Don’t give up on doing something you want to do.”