Hannah is an 18-year-old student of Claremont College in Tasmania and a Business Administration trainee who has been recognised by her employer for her excellent work.
As a young person with a disability who has employment aspirations, Hannah is taking part in Ticket to Work, an initiative that supports young people with disability to access training and employment opportunities before leaving secondary school.
Hannah’s school worked with Hannah and various community agencies involved in Ticket to Work to identify her interest in office management and to identify potential employers. After a successful interview process Hannah was offered a traineeship through Work and Training, a recruitment and training company.
Hannah is completing a Certificate II in Business Administration through a school-based traineeship, which allows her to complete her schooling while working towards her employment goals. She also works in an office and has a range of key responsibilities including welcoming visitors to the office, collecting and distributing incoming correspondence, managing office supplies and compiling in-house resources.
Once they have identified a young person with employment goals, Ticket to Work networks collaborate to support work preparation, training and placements with an approach that considers the local context and the needs of the young person. Local networks aim to involve a broad range of stakeholders including schools, DES (Disability Employment Services) and other community agencies.
“These organisations bring their various skills and expertise together to collectively address youth disability employment issues in their local community,” said Mrs Colleen Hooper, the National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) coordinating Ticket to Work in Hobart.
One of the organisations supporting Hannah is Mosaic Support Services, an organisation that operates a range of services for people with disability including community access, transitional support, accommodation, respite and skills development. Mosaic supports Hannah to manage the challenges of work and to build her confidence through her work in the Mosaic office.
“One of Hannah’s long-term goals is to confidently answer the telephone, direct calls and independently respond to enquiries, and Mosaic is working with her to develop those skills” said Ms Megan Cunningham, a Mosaic staff member.
Staff at Mosaic are thrilled with Hannah’s work, which is reflected in the award that was presented to Hannah for her excellent work in the office at a recent awards night. Work and Training are also impressed with Hannah’s progress towards completing her certificate.
“Hannah has completed all her work to the highest standards,” said Ms Kylie Petryk, a Senior Consultant at Work and Training. “She’s also fits in to the office beautifully and it’s great to know she’s in an environment where she is fully supported.”
Hannah has thoroughly enjoyed her experience with and is grateful for the opportunity to undertake this work placement.
“I have enjoyed everything about doing my Certificate II in Business. I have been very well supported by everyone and the employees at Mosaic are just great. I was very worried at first and did not think I would be able to do it. But now I would tell everyone to just give it a try.”
Hannah’s mother is also delighted with Hannah’s progress and urges other parents of young people with disability to allow their children the same opportunities.
“Encourage your children to work towards their goals and consider options that highlight their strengths to give them confidence.”
Mrs Hooper also comments on the importance of these opportunities for young people with employment aspirations.
“The last years of school are an important period in the life of any young person. It’s important that young people with disability have access to the same opportunities as their peers so that they can prepare for life after school whilst in a supportive environment,” said Ms Hooper.
“Hannah’s story is a great example not only of the skills and aspirations of young people with disability but of the positive outcomes for young people achieved through Ticket to Work.”