About WDEA Works
WDEA Works has been providing individualised employment services in Western Victoria from 1989. Since then, WDEA Works has grown to become one of the largest community and employment service providers in the region, employing over 250 people across 15 different sites in a range of community-based services and programs. These programs include:
- Disability Employment Services – for employment of people with disability in open employment
- Employer Recruitment Services
- Australian Disability Enterprises
- Day Services
- Artlink Studio
- WDEA Works Foundation
As a not-for-profit, community based organisation, WDEA Work’s aim has always been to provide a quality service to individuals in our community who will benefit the most from our assistance. By successfully helping our clients we are able to direct many of the benefits we receive back into the community through community grants and community funding programs and additional services.
WDEA Works partners other key community stakeholders to achieve the best possible outcome for its clients. WDEA Works with:
- Local employers and businesses
- Industry groups
- Community support services
- Allied health professionals
- Schools and Education institutions
- The Department of Employment (DE)
- The Department of Human Services (DHS)
- The Department of Social Services (DSS)
- Government and council
We create opportunities for business, individuals and our community.
- Personal responsibility
- Treating People with dignity and respect
- Fulfilment of potential
- Contributing to our community
We provide professional recruitment services to employers and individuals.
We strengthen our community by developing innovative and effective support strategies for those experiencing disadvantage.
We develop and maintain sustainable relationships with our funding bodies.
WDEA Works benefits clients and employers
WDEA Works offers a range of services to benefit both clients and employers
WDEA Works values all clients and treats them with dignity and respect, and aims to provide the best possible service available. WDEA Works has a range of programs that suit many people’s varying requirements – from working with people of all ages to develop employment and life skills, to assistance in finding and maintaining employment in a range of settings, flowing through to day care services and healthy ageing programs. WDEA’ Works’ end goal is to provide a means of community participation to its clients that will in-turn promote an increase in social inclusion and an improvement in well-being.
Some benefits that our clients experience are:
- Support in their chosen program
- Building of confidence and self-esteem
- Contribution to community
- Increasing self-worth
- Development of social and general life skills
- Providing a pathway to independence
For business, WDEA Works offers a range of benefits and services that can be utilised at no or little cost to employers. These include:
- Recruitment advice.
- Vacancy lodgement services.
- Candidate screening and short-listing services .
- Access to the Australian Government Jobsearch website and local newspapers to advertise your vacancies.
Employees who can be trained in your particular industry.
- Skills training of all levels for jobseekers to suit your business needs.
WDEA Works also operates a number of Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE) or supported work environments, administered from WDEA Works’ Enterprises Division, at out Albert Street, Warrnambool site. WDEA Works is continually trying to innovate and source new employment opportunities for its WDEA Works SEE staff and would welcomely discuss any potential benefits to interested businesses or organisations. Some of the benefits that WDEA Works can provide to business include:
- A contracted workforce to complete individual tasks / projects.
- Projects may be short-term, long-term or seasonal, and can be a once-off or ongoing requirement.
- A cost-effective labour force.
- Supervision of workers supplied.
- Work can be undertaken at the WDEA Works Albert Street site.
- Participate in community development by providing work for our WDEA Works staff.
WDEA Works history
WDEA Works first commenced in 1989 as a service to assist clients with a disability to enter the workforce. Starting with three employees, WDEA Works initially operated out of a small office in Warrnambool but soon extended its coverage to Colac, Portland and Hamilton. As demand grew the organisation expanded its operations and services to cover a broader cross-section of the community. New services such as The Socialisers, a social group for people with a disability, and Futures for Young Adults were established.
In 1998 WDEA Works was able to obtain contracts to deliver a number of additional services, most notably for Job Network – an open employment service for all unemployed job seekers, regardless of their barriers to employment.
By 2008 WDEA Works had continued to grow its services. The Disability Employment Services and Job Network program was further strengthened by additional programs including:
- Personal Support Program (now part of Job Services Australia)
- Australian Apprenticeship Centre (contract ceased)
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services (now part of Disability Employment services)
- In 2009 WDEA Works opened offices in Ballarat, Ararat, Stawell and Horsham to deliver the Job Services Australia program (formerly known as Job Network).
In 2010, shortly after the expansion of coverage into central-western Victoria, WDEA Works was able to commence operation of its Disability Employment Services at these new sites.
The continued success of WDEA Works’ programs for over 20 years enabled one of the largest and most exciting additions to WDEA Works’ services since it began. In 2011 WDEA Works was approached by Vantage Inc. – a day services and supported work environment for people with disability. WDEA was able to incorporate Vantage into the services it offered which resulted in the ongoing operation of the Vantage supported work environments, to be known as “WDEA Enterprises”, and day services, to fall under the “WDEA Community” moniker.
In 2013, WDEA Works commenced delivery of Disability Employment Services in Bendigo and Castlemaine, and also opened an office in Shepparton in 2014. 2013 also saw WDEA Works add a training arm to the business, incorporating Balance Training Services under the banner of WDEA Training.
Since 1989, WDEA Works has created many support programs to assist those living with disability. Programs such as the Socialisers, ArtLink, CareerLink and the growth of WDEA Works’ Foundation (a trust fund that grants up to $100,000 per year to assist people with disability to gain or have greater access to employment opportunities), have maintained WDEA Works’ commitment to assisting the most vulnerable members of our community.
WDEA Works now operates full-time sites across 11 major cities and towns in Western Victoria and employs well over 300 employees.