In 2019, 41-year-old father of three Trent Dunn was working as a forklift driver in cold storage, a career he enjoyed, when an unexpected health diagnosis changed his life and career options.

“I went to the doctor with back pain. After seeing a few specialists, I was diagnosed with a degenerative disc condition, meaning the discs in my back are deteriorating faster than usual,” Mr Dunn said.

“It’s something that usually happens later in life to older people, not those in their early forties, so it came as a real shock.”

The diagnosis meant that Mr Dunn could no longer work in a cold environment and couldn’t sit in a forklift for long periods or lift more than a few kilos.

“It meant I couldn’t do my job anymore, and this came as a significant blow, not just to my work and income but to my confidence as well,” he said.

At the same time, the family moved from Queensland to Port Macquarie on the NSW North Coast to be closer to family. This meant that Mr Dunn also had to navigate a new employment market too.

In 2020, he was referred to Port Macquarie-based not-for-profit employment, training and apprenticeships service provider, VERTO. Mr Dunn says working with VERTO Consultant Nicole Stewart was a game-changer.

“Nicole was incredibly helpful and supportive from the get-go. She took the time to understand how I was feeling and what I needed out of my next role.

“She also helped me explore options, looking at desk-based roles, and even starting a business course,” he said.

Ultimately, though, Mr Dunn says he realised being behind a desk simply wasn’t for him.

“I’ve always worked with my hands, and it’s what I love doing. Nicole immediately understood how I was feeling, and we changed track to look for something suited to my new restrictions,” he said.

With extensive physio, Mr Dunn has been able to increase his lifting capacity to 15 kilograms and through a family connection, was able to find local factory work.

 

Ms Stewart says that it’s essential to help job seekers like Mr Dunn build confidence to return to the workforce.

“From the outset, Trent was incredibly keen to get back into the workforce, but a diagnosis such as the one he received can be a blow to anyone’s confidence,” she said.

“So, we worked closely together to  understand his passions and interests, explore all avenues to find potential matches, and rebuild his confidence to prepare for a return to work.

“Every job seeker is different, so it’s about working with each individual to understand their interests and motivation and what they need to be job-ready.

After exploring options, Trent wanted to continue working with his hands, which meant we focused on identifying the most appropriate options that wouldn’t aggravate his injury.

“Ultimately, he found this in factory work, and VERTO will continue to support Trent on his journey – wherever it takes him,” Ms Stewart said.

Mr Dunn says he is incredibly grateful for VERTO’s support and he encourages others in his position to reach out for help.

“Nicole helped me look at how I could succeed in the new job with my condition, which was a great help.

“Most of all, though, she helped me build the confidence to find work again, and that was invaluable,” Mr Dunn said.

Employment Services

Employment Services

At VERTO, we offer a range of employment services designed to help both individuals and businesses find the right opportunities.
Community Services

Community Services

VERTO’s Community Services programs provide free, practical assistance on a range of services for selected regional communities.
Traineeships

Traineeships

VERTO offers over 20 qualifications through Traineeships, providing a great opportunity to start or advance your career.
Training

Training

Whether you are unemployed and wanting to secure a job or looking to formalise your skills through study, VERTO has a course for you.

 

 

VERTO Celebrates 40 Years

This October, VERTO is celebrating 40 years of supporting people in NSW through quality education, employment, apprenticeship, and community services.

According to VERTO CEO, Ron Maxwell, VERTO has grown from humble beginnings as a small evening college in Bathurst to a national organisation employing more than 500 staff and servicing thousands of clients every year.

Founded in 1983 as the Central West Regional Evening College and in 2012, rebranded as VERTO Limited – with VERTO being Latin for ‘transform’.

Read more

Why choose Verto

VERTO is a not-for-profit organisation assisting businesses and individuals with all their apprenticeship, employment and training needs.

Our expertise covers a range of areas including Aboriginal services, Australian apprenticeships services, disability services, employment services and vocational training to help businesses, individuals and local industry to thrive.

You'll find the team in over 65 locations New South Wales.

Read more

Employment Services

Finding work is an enormous part of life. At VERTO, we offer a range of employment services designed to help both individuals and businesses find the right opportunities. Our team can provide support and guidance across a range of government-funded programs, all designed to make finding the right job or employee a much-improved process.

These services are FREE to individuals and businesses, supported by the Australian Government. 

Find out more

Popular Short Courses & Qualifications

    New Energy Apprenticeships Mentoring Program

    VERTO is a trusted provider of the New Energy Apprenticeships Mentoring program across Australia.

    The Mentoring Program is intended to maximise retention of New Energy Apprentices by building strong linkages between new entrants to the Clean Energy sector and skilled workers and businesses already operating in the sector.

    Learn more

    Latest News & Blogs

      Training Services

      At VERTO, our goal is to provide the training and skills development that will prepare you for the future. We offer a range of training courses that cover numerous skills and qualifications.

      Join our Team

      At VERTO, our goal is to provide the training and skills development that will prepare you for the future. We offer a range of training courses that cover numerous skills and qualifications.

      Coonabarabran Colour Run

      Our VERTO (Australia) team had an amazing time organizing the 'Family Fun Day' in collaboration with the Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council! It was a day filled with non-stop excitement – from the vibrant colour run to fantastic face painting. Plus, the delicious barbecue added the perfect flavour to the day!

      What our customers say

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        Erica K

        Alyssa is an exceptional case worker with an outstanding ability to listen and understand what's needed to resolve difficulties and promote inner strength. She makes you feel valued and important, challenging any negative beliefs you may have about yourself. Alyssa has a gift for analysing a person's nature and directing their strengths in the most beneficial direction.
        Her guidance has given me purpose and the incentive to strive in life as a renewed person. The continued well- being check-ins assure me that I'm safe and not alone on this journey. Her kindness is healing, and I am forever grateful for her commitment to my path.

        Erica K
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        Martin Lartigau

        Those guys are literally legends, very helpful. They helped me settle back up here, find a good job, and went out of their way to ensure I had the right equipment for work. If you're willing to work and need help, I highly recommend them. A big thanks to miles in particular for his follow-up and help.

        Martin Lartigau
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        Tina Baker

        Nathaniel from VERTO Wagga Wagga was very helpful and supportive in helping make my dream a reality. He is very knowledgeable and has so much patience. I cannot thank him enough for his help and guidance. Terima Kasih 🙏🏻

        Tina Baker
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        Brian Edwards

        I attended the Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities session in Bathurst today, and it was incredible. This program has truly changed my life. I had low expectations, but I received so much more. I can’t wait to go home and share the news with my kids.

        Brian Edwards
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        Brittany Edwards

        I have never had a job, I went to VERTO and Kirstie referred me to Anthony who set up an interview. They took me to the interview and got me the job. They helped me get a tax file number and a Super account, they helped me fill out all the forms. My family is so proud of me and VERTO have been amazing. Thank you everyone at the Orange team.

        Brittany Edwards
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        Gemma McGowan

        My consultants have been incredibly helpful and supportive, and it was such a relief being with VERTO compared to other employment providers. I felt so much acceptance and compassion towards my personal situation, which made me feel a lot better and less anxious. Thank you Rai and Shaylene at VERTO Murwillumbah, you guys rock!!

        Gemma McGowan
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        Sharon Wilson-Webster

        Kerrie has been an incredible and constructive support, personally and practically. She has offered me opportunities to develop my skills and knowledge and guided me towards the right job opportunities which best suit to my strengths and interests. She is very knowledgeable and friendly, always willing to go above and beyond to help.

        Sharon Wilson-Webster
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        Brad Stuart

        Lauren Waite is my job placement representative in Nelson Bay. She has always listened to my work-related circumstances without any judgment. I find her very accommodating with personal concerns regarding my work situation. My experience so far working with Lauren has been very open and honest, and I value her assistance.

        Brad Stuart
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        Frank Oates

        My name is Frank and from the first day I walked into VERTO's office in Broken Hill, my experience has been nothing short of amazing. My consultant Merridy has been incredibly supportive and understanding in meeting my cultural needs, and I see her as a true living angel. The assistance she provided me was of the utmost professionalism.

        Frank Oates
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        Nadine McEwan

        I have had the pleasure of dealing with Abraham Ghossain for the past 3 years now and have to say he is the best at VERTO. Super responsive and always goes above and beyond the get the job done. He is extremely knowledgeable within his field and very professional. Looking forward to continuing to work with you in the future.

        Nadine McEwan
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        Troy McVerry

        Outstanding! VERTO has distinguished itself with their assistance in getting me employment. I have only been with VERTO about a month and now I have a very lucrative job. VERTO’s consultant Honeylyn has willingly assisted me every time I have sought assistance.

        Troy McVerry

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