Finding seeds of hope in horticulture

14 September 2017
Grower News

Olm, who lost his leg in a motorbike accident 26 years ago, was out of work for five months before someone would give him a go.

That someone was Withcott Seedlings, a commercial vegetable seedlings provider in the Lockyer Valley which prides itself on its culture of tolerance and understanding.

Olm, 50, who applied for work with Withcott Seedlings through an ad on Gumtree, is now three months into his job as a trainee seed operator and couldn’t be happier. “I went from having various opportunities and being more overqualified than anything else, to being in a position where nobody would give me a shot, but Withcott Seedlings were great. They didn’t worry about my disability, just looked at my resume and knew I could do the work.”

He said his experience highlighted the value of looking beyond disabilities at the qualifications and experience of potential employees. “I mean, I’ve only had four jobs in my lifetime, long term at each place, and I don’t know if it was an age thing or my disability but it made it really hard. Looking for work with the old peg leg I was up against it, because people take one look at it and go, ‘I can’t – that’s too much hard work.”

Withcott Seedlings CEO Mike Hindle said it all came down to choosing the right person for the job. “When Craig came in for the interview, it was tough for him because he’d never been out of work in his life and no-one would even give him an interview because of his age and his leg. I said, ‘mate, don’t worry about your leg – if it’s not an issue for you, it’s not an issue for us’. Craig’s good at his job, and he’s got a great positive outlook on life, so it’s a win for us.”

Source: Susie Cunningham, Growcom