In 2021, we are welcoming 2,500 new colleagues into Serco through the acquisition of Facilities First Australia, a specialist provider of facilities management services.
Serco is a values-led organisation and Facilities First also has a strong culture in which our values align, including commitment to diversity and inclusion. Together Serco and Facilities First are ensuring our people are supported through this journey.
Twin sisters Penni and Kakra Yeboah are proud to be joining the Serco family and we are just as proud to welcome them. In their experience and their own words they make it clear that Serco and Facilities First are united in their community-minded emphasis on equal opportunity for all.
Penni and Kakra, who both have a mild intellectual disability, are members of the head office cleaning team for Facilities First. They joined through a vocational programme operated by Northcott, one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit disability service providers.
“We want to offer meaningful opportunities to help young, disadvantaged adults gain crucial skills to transition into work and independence,” says Janelle Dixon, General Manager – People, Communications and Integration, Facilities First. “For example, it was really important to us that we directly employ our team – for them to be part of our family.”
It feels great to have a paid job. It’s good to work in a team and feel useful. I feel confident and appreciated. It’s a nice place. Everyone here is supportive. Everyone is friendly and kind and says ‘thank you’. Our supervisor is a good and caring teacher. I feel happy, grown-up and really proud of myself.
Northcott partners with employers to ensure they have suitable workspaces and can give their new colleagues the very best support, training and supervision.
“Every step of the way, we’ve worked closely with our partners to understand what success could look like, how it would work, and how we could integrate it into our world,” says Janelle.
"I feel good about myself and proud of myself because I do a good job. It has been a good experience and the people here are really nice. It’s good to work with them – and fun. They are very patient and have showed us how to do things properly. I really like the job." - Kakra Yeboah
Moya Maffey, Northcott Community Engagement Officer, has been very impressed by Janelle and the team: “They’ve been fantastic. They are very, very patient. Few employers are as accommodating and supportive.”
Over the past year, Penni and Kakra worked two days every week whilst also participating in social, community and work skills development. They now complete their tasks with minimal supervision and the hope is they will soon be fully independent.
“Their communication has improved, and they have a much better understanding of what it means to carry out workplace responsibilities,” says Moya. “It’s all about the pride and empowerment that comes from having a job and doing it well. It’s great to see.”
“Penni and Kakra have become a cherished part of our team,” says Janelle. “We’re very proud of them – for their cheerful commitment to their work, even throughout the pandemic, and for helping us demonstrate to other employers that it can be done. It’s been a hugely positive experience for us all.”
In addition to our new partnership with Northcott, we are proud to provide proactive employment opportunities for those identifying as disabled elsewhere in Serco, through programme partners such as BIZLINK in Australia and Project Search in the UK, and through our own talent acquisition, such as in our Contract supporting the Australian National Disability Insurance Agency.