August 3, 2023

For people with disability – a new path to a fulfilling job and award wages

Jigsaw Adelaide community engagement lead Kathryn Mills writes about helping people with disability transition to work with a disability-confident mainstream employer.


I’m Kathryn, Community Engagement Lead at Jigsaw Adelaide – a social enterprise reshaping the pathway to employment for people with disability. Since we launched in 2021, we’ve supported over 80 South Australians with disability to prepare for employment.

There are opportunities to train with Jigsaw available now. If you believe your disability shouldn’t hold you back from fulfilling work paid at award wage, I would love to hear from you.

You might be leaving school and exploring options for your future. Perhaps you earn a supported wage at an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE), but want to earn an award wage. Maybe you’ve been targeting a mainstream job but haven’t had much support.

If any of these situations sound familiar to you, you could benefit from Jigsaw’s three-stage pathway to secure, lasting employment with a disability-confident, mainstream employer.

Left: Rebecca, right: Kyle and Michael.

Step one is Jigsaw Academy, where you prepare for work by mastering 20 core soft skills, transferable to any workplace. The skills include things like focus and prioritisation, professional communication and workplace relationships. You put them into practice from day one, with work experience at Jigsaw.

Once you’re confident in your skills, you progress to an employment contract with Jigsaw, paid at award wage. You might be working on insurance claims processing, converting historical paper records to a digital format or delivering other business services to Jigsaw’s clients. Clients include many South Australian and national businesses such as Epic Energy and RAA.

Then, when you’re ready, we support you to transition into a mainstream job that aligns with your interests, and help you retain it for the long term.

Let me tell you about one of our current trainees in Adelaide.

Jayne spent 10 months in Jigsaw Academy working on her skills before being promoted into a paid traineeship. When she left school, she briefly tried an ADE, before realising “[she] was capable of so much more,” and switching to Jigsaw. At Jigsaw, she felt she had the support to understand everything: “It starts with respect. We’re all treated like adults who have a valid opinion. I’ve never been told a question I asked was stupid.”


If you’d like to call Jayne your work colleague, we have traineeships available now! Come and visit the hub so you can see for yourself if Jigsaw is right for you. You can book a tour here, or if you have questions, click here to choose a time for a quick chat.

Hope to hear from you soon!


Subscribe Today! Subscribe to South Australia's biggest-selling magazine, showcasing the best of Adelaide and South Australia. From only $9 per issue
including free delivery to your door.
Share —