CHANCE: Andrews Meats co-owner Brett Owen and employee Trent Robinson.
CHANCE: Andrews Meats co-owner Brett Owen and employee Trent Robinson. Nev Madsen

First ever paid job gives Trent a new outlook on life

IT'S COMMON to slam the snooze button in the morning and wish for an extra five minutes under the covers instead of heading into work.

But Gatton's Trent Robinson is excited to tackle every shift.

The 21-year-old is six months into his first stint of paid employment with Andrews Meats in Toowoomba after landing a gig as a cleaner.

Mr Robinson approached employment and disability job services provider APM in Gatton with the aim of finding work.

He has been diagnosed with spinal disorder kyphoscoliosis and experiences chronic pain on a daily basis as well as ongoing mental health issues.

After building up a working relationship with employment consultant Helen Hilgers, he faced a couple of knock-backs but was approached in February about an opening at the butcher.

Before the interview he had to shave off his long beard, neatly tie back his hair and with a fresh look and a fresh approach, he landed the job. He now travels up the range for work three times a week.

"(I enjoy) having a job, finally, after all these years,” Mr Robinson said. "It's something I can work on learning.”

Regular work has changed his outlook on life.

"I think I'm a bit more positive about things and my capabilities,” he said.

"The crew up there are a bunch of happy blokes. "I'd love to do the (butcher) apprenticeship. That'd be pretty cool.”

Co-owner Brett Owen said his employee's enthusiasm and work ethic made him a perfect fit for the business.

"Everything he does is perfect,” Mr Owen said.

"He really takes pride in his work. He not just likes it, he loves working for us.”

"He's a real inspiration to himself. He's got health issues and probably been at the end of his tether with life and just because someone has given him an opportunity, he has turned his whole life around.”

Disability Action Week is held in 2018 from September 9-15 with the theme of 'An all abilities Queensland: everybody has a role to play.”


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