Aidan stocks up on employment success

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A love of shopping centres prompted Aidan Bates to find work at his local supermarket, with the help of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports.

Aidan completed work experience at Coles for a few hours a week, after receiving NDIS Employment assistance to find suitable work when finishing year 12 in 2019.

The Victoria Point local, who lives with autism and an intellectual disability, now works 9 hours a week at the supermarket. His father Tony says his son loves working and regularly assists shoppers searching for products.

As well as placing products on the shelves and facing the labels the right way around, Aidan uses the compactor for the cardboard boxes. When he’s helping customers using the computer system, he receives assistance from his NDIS-funded support worker.

Aidan Bates wearing his uniform and ready to work

NDIS employment Assistance is early intervention support to help young participants transition from school to employment by building confidence and skills.

Tony said NDIS support had been important for Aidan in helping him to achieve his employment goals.

‘We wouldn’t have known what to do getting a local job, so our service provider went searching for places,’ he said.

‘While Aidan did some work experience at school, these workplaces couldn’t offer work, so the NDIS employment provider helped out.’

When Aidan isn’t working, he is supported to take part in bowling, going to the library, playing music and learning to cook.

‘He likes making cakes at home and making biscuits with mum,’ Tony said.

Aidan also receives support to go shopping, go out to watch movies and to get to work. 

In addition to his job, the 21-year-old also keeps busy working on his collages and playing sport with the Special Olympics.

‘Aidan has always liked shopping centres; he gets on the computer and looks at all the stores around Carindale, down to Robina, and can tell you what stores are there and who’s moved in,’ Tony said.

‘He prints them out and makes collages of stores and laminates them.’

‘Aidan has fairly good hand-eye coordination, so he plays in the Special Olympics teams, Saturday morning basketball and Thursday evening tennis. He likes getting to socialise with his friends and play.’

Aidan receives Local Area Coordination support from Carers Queensland to understand and use his NDIS funding.

While the transition out of school was initially challenging for Aidan, Tony said everything had now fallen into place.

‘His manager is happy with his work, and when shoppers ask where to find something Aidan can now assist them easily,’ he said.