Why outsource jobs?
A wide range of companies and industries outsource jobs by necessity and in an effort to gain a competitive advantage. The benefits of outsourcing to Ability Works Australia are two-fold: high quality results and supporting the work and training we offer to employees with disabilities.
Currently we provide employment for over 120 employees with disabilities. People have the opportunity to work in a number of manufacturing areas, and to enhance their skills through targeted on and off the job training. For those who are ready and able to take the “next step”, our links with a number of specialists Open Employment services ensure that this vocational option is also supported.
Ability Works Australia (formerly known as “Roytal”) had its origins in 1963, when a “sheltered workshop” was established as part of The Royal Talbot’s occupational therapy department located in Kew. At this stage only four employees participated in work activity.
In 1969, numbers had increased to 34, and the name “Roytal” had been adopted.
In 1972, most employees were recorded as having Epilepsy. Only four individuals were listed as having an intellectual disability. This period was significantly influenced by our then auspicing body the Royal Talbot General Rehabilitation Hospital.
Employees worked in various work areas including “Process”, “Wire”, “Pallets”, “Carpentry” and “Printing”.
Throughout the 1970s numbers of employees steadily rose. One third of employees were people with epilepsy and one quarter were people with an intellectual disability.
By the early 1980s, Roytal had established a second plant in Fairfield after the takeover of Para Quad Industries from the Paraplegic and Quadraplegic Association of Victoria. By 1981 Roytal was supporting over 100 employees. The “sheltered workshop” had grown into a substantial commercial venture for outsourced work.
During the 1980s Roytal mostly supported people with Intellectual, Neurological (Epilepsy), Psychiatric, and Acquired Disabilities.
Having a base in Fairfield also meant that Roytal was much more accessible to people from the Northern Suburbs and this is likely to have influenced the increased participation rates of people from Non English Speaking Backgrounds.
In 1997, operations were consolidated, which saw the closure of the Fairfield plant without significant employee or operational fall out.
The late 1990s hosted significant growth in terms of Support and Training services for people with disabilities at Roytal. An in house training arm (Registered Training Organisation) and the creation of “Support Worker” roles assisted in the further development of opportunities for Roytal employees.
Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, the organisation has continued to grow in stature and in sophistication to a point where we are today providing a wide range of manufacturing, process, warehouse and related services across a diverse customer base.
In August of 2008 we changed our name to “Ability Works Australia” as we knew that the time was right to reflect upon our past, move towards the future and embrace the message, through our new name, that underpins our whole existence.
From our earliest days of operation where we were almost an “Epilepsy” specialist service that provided work opportunities for a relatively small number of people, Ability Works Australia has evolved into an outsource partner, employer and Disability Service Provider that provides support to individuals based on their ability and motivation to work and a range of services to our ever growing customer base.