Selwyn Cook

It has been a privilege, as an employer for twenty-seven years, to have been able to emply so many disabled people. In the last three years of my business seventy new staff joined us through Workbridge alone plus some great people through the employment services of Blind & Low Vision New Zealand, Deaf Aotearoa, Enrich+ and Idea Services. It has also been an honour to have held the position of the Employer Ambassador for Workbridge for the four years from 2016 to 2020.

Many people said to me this was really a nice thing to do. Well it wasn't a nice thing to do! It was a smart thing, the right thing and a bright thing to do. I thank my dedicated team for increasing the profitability of the business through reducing staff turnover, less absenteeism, less sick days, low performance management issues and an overall high level of commitment to their jobs. Truely the disabled community provides a talent pool that many employers overlook.

To gain the successful integration of disabled people into the workplace it is also important for businesses and organisations to increase their overall disability confidence. There are many myths that concern employers yet equally as many disability support providers who are able to provide a suite of training, education and supports to workplaces so to ensure the success of the employment of disabled people. Often at no cost to the employer. Employee support funds and workplace accommodation grants may also be available through the Ministry of Social Development.

My four years as the Employer Ambassador for Workbridge introduced me to many businesses and organisations who absolutely got it and it was a delight to work with them and see their disability confidence grow and the successful employment of many disabled people who brought so much to their employment relationships.

I now work as an independent facilitator supporting employers and job-seekers who want to build their disability confidence and enjoy the benefits that more disabled employees will bring to their workplace. I offer my support to providers as well all with the aim of adding to the efforts of others to build successful disability employment relationships.

My hope is that before long the employment of disabled people will not be a "thing" as true diversity and inclusion in the workplace is simply all people being treated equitably rather than equally.

It would be my pleasure to provide services to you as outlined in this site.

NZ Attitude Awards: Attitude ACC Employer Award 2014

Above and Beyond Award: Workbridge 2014

Diversity Works: Diversability Award 2015

New Zealander Of The Year: Local Hero Winner 2016

Hamilton City Council Civic Award: Community, People & Wellbeing 2017

On the pumps: SSC Service Stations

New Zealander of the Year Local Hero Winner 2016 Selwyn Cook