Endeavour Foundation open day showcases employment ability

Published 4:30am 27 November 2023

Endeavour Foundation open day showcases employment ability
Words by Jodie Powell

A major Moreton Bay employer of people with disability is throwing open its doors to the public on Thursday to showcase its employees’ abilities.

Endeavour Foundation Business Solutions at Kippa-Ring employs about 35 staff in a range of roles, from serving in the op shop to steel fabrication, driving trucks and dismantling e-waste for recycling.

Ben Ketley has worked there for about 13 years and wouldn’t work anywhere else.

He currently works in the op shop alongside other staff and volunteers.

“I work the register and other employees and volunteers do the sorting,” Ben explains.

“We also have Danielle, Nicole and Matt - and Wayne, who’s been working here for 35 years.

“We like the flexibility – you can work between two and five says and we like that we’re with other people with disabilities and it’s a nice safe environment and everyone supports each other.”

A range of roles

Endeavour Foundation open day showcases employment ability

As Ben takes Moreton Daily on a tour of the operation, it’s clear his depth of knowledge extends well beyond the well organised op shop filled with an array of clothing, accessories and homewares.

Thanks to the training on offer, Ben can turn his hand to anything from steel fabrication and e-waste dismantling to reception work.

“We make downpipes, gable roll and window flashing for BlueScope – the downpipes are 1800mm and 2400mm and we have about 30 different colours.

“There’s no welding on the downpipes, it’s all done by machine.”

“We take real pride in the work we’re doing.”

Paper shredding

Endeavour Foundation open day showcases employment ability

Acting Site Manager Denah Matuschka says the work delivered by the Endeavour team is held in high regard.

“We’re the only employer of people with disabilities working with them and out of everywhere that makes the products, we’re the site that makes the least mistakes,” Denah says.

As well as high-quality products for BlueScope, Endeavour Foundation Business Solutions collects confidential documents at Kippa-Ring that are then sent to a secure facility at Maroochydore for destruction.

“We also do rags that are coloured, white and mixed cotton and sell them here,” Ben says.

“On the peninsula we have four or five businesses that come in regularly and buy bundles of rags – 10 or 20 at a time.

“It’s really good that we have that support from the general public.”

E-waste recycling

Endeavour Foundation open day showcases employment ability

Another key component of the work at Endeavour Foundation Business Solutions is its e-waste recycling centre.

Denah says while some visitors drop off electronic equipment such as vacuum cleaners and household appliances, the products Endeavour can process are limited to technical gadgetry such as printers, computers, monitors, laptops and televisions.

“About 93 percent of everything we receive on site can be recycled,” she says.

Denah says people with disability can make excellent employees given the opportunity and support.

“Every task on site here is performed by a person with disability, from steel fabrication to driving trucks and dismantling e-waste for recycling,” she says.

“We have people that eventually would like to work in mainstream employment. The experience and training we offer can help.

“Local businesses can support people with disability by hiring them directly, or by partnering with us on their business needs.”

See the gallery below

Ben says while he can turn his hand to almost any role at Endeavour Foundation Business Solutions it’s the friends and flexibility he values the most.

“The team here are really good at supporting us and helping us achieve our goals,” Ben says.

“I’ve made loads of friends here. We’ll meet up on Saturday and Sunday and go into the city and go into the local pub just to catch up outside of work.”

Ben says if employers treat people with understanding they’ll get a great employee.

“I’d say try and work to your employees’ strengths,” he says.

“If they can do something, work to that strength. Take time with them because people learn at different paces.”

Book your visit

The Endeavour Foundation Employment Showcase is on Thursday, November 30 from 10am-noon at Endeavour Foundation Business Solutions, 46 High St, Kippa-Ring.

It’s free to attend and tours, food and drinks will be provided.

RSVP to REDBD@endeavour.com.au or phone 3284 0199 or 0403 349 535.

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