Napier business has right attitude on staff recruitment
Genera Limited has been employing New Zealanders since 1975. Now the biosecurity company at Napier Port is being recognised for its inclusiveness when it comes to recruiting staff with disabilities.
Genera is a finalist in the ACC Employer Award category in the 2015 Attitude Awards, which celebrate the excellence and achievements of Kiwis living with disabilities.
Genera’s Napier operations manager Gavin Smales first contacted Workbridge (an equal employment agency) three years ago. Since then he's employed workers with a range of disabilities including dyslexia, Tourette’s syndrome, mental illness, staff who are amputees, have cancer or are recovering addicts.
Gavin insists he doesn’t hire people with disabilities – he simply hires people who can do the job. He sees capability rather than disability and has a passionate workforce to show for it.
“I’ve found the attitude of the staff we’ve got from Workbridge is much better than your average Joe Blogs off the street,” says Gavin. “They really want to work so they do a good job.”
From starting on casual contracts, three of Gavin’s Workbridge-sourced staff now hold permanent positions at the company. Gavin supports staff with disabilities just as he supports all his staff: through on-the-job training, a buddy system and licensing. 
Workbridge was so impressed with Gavin’s approach that they nominated Genera for the Attitude ACC Employer Award.
“The success of these employees is down to Genera and specifically Gavin. The business is helping to ensure the ongoing support and employment of clients with disabilities” says Lynne Gibson from Workbridge Hawkes Bay.
Genera’s Whangarei office has also been using Workbridge to find staff and two employees with disabilities now hold permanent positions there. Similarly, Genera’s Tauranga management team are now looking to Workbridge for recruitment.
Gavin and the Genera team will find out if they've won at a black-tie gala on World Disability Day, December 3, at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre.
For tickets contact Sue Wales-Earl at or phone 09 378 1564.