Aran’s passion for hospitality lands him a job on the spot

Aran is wearing his Banjo’s Longford uniform and smiling at the camera. He is standing in front of a brick wall.Moments after his first interview, 25-year-old food-enthusiast Aran secured employment at local cafe Banjo’s Longford.

“Aran came to WISE Employment with little experience under his belt, but felt strongly about finding a position where he could play to his strengths. With a penchant for hospitality, it was important for him to be surrounded by people and in a fun environment,” says Tiana Cooper, Aran’s WISE Employment Consultant.

Aran, who lives with Down syndrome and concentration limitations, was motivated to find an employer who would be understanding of his needs, in addition to being able to tailor daily duties to his abilities.

“We began the initial process by mapping out Aran’s strengths, interests and passions and spoke about which kind of employment he’d enjoy most. After covering the basics, we identified which environment he’d feel most comfortable in, and it wasn’t long before we settled on creating a resume with a hospitality focus, knowing that food and customer service was a big priority for him,” said Tiana.

After assisting Aran with the identification process, Tiana and Aran hit the ground running by handing out resumés, and calling local businesses to enquire about job openings.

“Aran secured an interview with Zac, Banjo Bakery’s store manager, and we attended the interview together to ensure he felt as comfortable as possible. After a few routine questions, Aran was offered the job on the spot, and was over the moon to embark on his very first employment opportunity,” said Tiana.

Aran works back of house alongside Damien, the owner, as well as Zac, the store manager, with guided support.

Aran is wearing his Banjo’s Longford uniform and standing next to his manager Zac.

Mastering tasks such as weighing ingredients for baked goods, Aran has also been learning how to prepare and roll out pastry to create Banjo’s signature pies. Damien describes Aran as “an essential part of the team.”

“The people I work with have been so supportive, friendly and easygoing. Banjo’s is busy, but the team makes each shift a whole lot of fun,” said Aran.

“Aran’s confidence has grown exponentially since finding employment. Each week I take him to his shift and drive him home, and in those car rides he tells me how much he loves his job and the friends he’s made there. Aran is recently engaged, and being able to save for his wedding has given him both a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment,” said Tiana.

In March, Aran will celebrate his one-year anniversary at Banjo’s Bakery. “We’re looking forward to seeing his bright future with the Banjo’s Longford team,” says Damien.

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