Employment workshop gives school leavers a head start

A three-day workshop for teenagers, aged 15 to 17, is helping young people prepare themselves for the world of work.

The Pathway to Employment course is run by COACT VisAbility’s Disability Employment Services. It’s free to teenagers with vision loss or young people who have a sensory disability. Another one will be running again in the near future. If you are interested, contact the Disability Employment Services Team to secure a place. 

The photograph shows some of the young men on the course, all dressed smartly.

The transition from school life into paid work can be challenging, especially in the current economic climate. The focus of the workshop is to give each participant a better understanding of what would help them in their journey to secure paid employment.

The course covers:

  • Building employability skills
  • Improving communication
  • Active listening
  • Being organised
  • Working as part of a team
  • Resume writing
  • Preparing for an interview
  • Dressing appropriately for a business environment.

Getting job ready for employment

Tayla with a pink model18 year old Tayla, who has attended one of the courses, came up from Pemberton with her mother and stayed in a hotel overnight.

Tayla has Congenital Glaucoma and Band Keratopathy (link opens in new window), but her limited vision hasn’t been a barrier for her to pursue her passion for art.

She enjoys drawing and model making and has submitted her work into competitions and exhibitions in recent years.

Her creative side means Tayla is keen to enter a career in the theatre or arts industry. She found the course very beneficial. Tayla enjoys singing and her hobbies include art and craft.

“I have always loved the circus and the clowns. I enjoy creating these elaborate masks and coming up with new ideas.”

I learned so much. It gave me advice on interview techniques such as being confident and making eye contact, what information your resume should contain and dressing appropriately for interviews.

Darren sits at a table, with pen and paper in hand. He is smiling at the cameraAnother participant is Darren Coyle from Butler. He has limited vision and was full of praise about the course structure and the facilitators.

Darren wants to work in a healthcare setting, preferably in a hospital. He says the workshop has helped him to be more confident speaking in public.

“I found it really helpful knowing how to present myself to future employers. Interviews don’t have to be scary. If you prepare in advance, they are far easier.” – Darren

Course structure

Research has shown that people with a disability demonstrate more commitment in their roles compared to others. They take fewer sick days and improve morale among other staff in the workplace. It’s hoped VisAbility’s Employment Services will be running more of these courses in the future.

The course is organised by COACT VisAbility’s Disability Employment Services. Funding is available through the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) (link opens in new window) which is part of the Disability Services Commission.

These grants from the DSC aim to encourage connections between people, groups and communities and build capacity in the form of skills and abilities.

Youth Support Officer, Ryan shares his thoughts on important skills teenagers should focus on developing and about how to go about finding meaningful work in Thinking of your Child’s Career.