Sam is a proud Business Administration Trainee working as a part-time employee in a busy office environment. Through ‘Ticket to Work’ Sam is completing a School-based Traineeship which requires him to work 13 hours per week in the workplace and attend St Bede’s College for the remainder of the week, where he is completing his senior studies. Sam will receive a Certificate III in Business Administration at the end of his traineeship and says “I am really excited about working in a job I love”.
Ticket to Work is improving the post-school outcomes of students with disability by assisting them to undertake work experience, paid employment and vocational training with businesses that have been carefully matched according to the students’ career interests and goals. Sam is one of hundreds of students across Australia who are now participating in Ticket to Work activities coordinated by Local Ticket to Work Networks comprised of a range of representatives from the education, training, employment and youth sectors.
Sam expressed interest in Business Administration and, after work experience placements in this field, determined that this was a career he was interested in. With support of the Local Ticket to Work Network, Sam secured a traineeship at Berendale School working alongside the office administration staff.
Sam has disabilities which required some slight adjustments in the workplace. Marriott Employment Options, a Disability Employment Service and key Ticket to Work partner, arranged for an external Vision Australia assessment which identified modifications that could be made to suit both Sam and his employer’s needs. Vision Australia recommended that the physical environment be modified through the placement of high-visibility stickers on all stairs and that text on documents be enlarged via use of a screen which comes with a magnifying camera. These adaptations were arranged through Job Access and Department of Employment funding; assessment and assistance available to all businesses that employ a person with disability. In Sam’s case, the modifications have had a positive impact on his ability to carry out tasks effectively and safely in his workplace.
Sam’s teachers, parents and employer have observed significant and positive changes during his employment and all feel he will make a successful transition into ongoing employment once he has completed his traineeship and senior schooling.
Angie Greaves, Careers and Pathways Coordinator at St Bede’s College, said that “Ticket to Work has given Sam the opportunity to experience a real workplace in a very supportive environment. Sam enjoys the independence of attending his traineeship workplace and all his teachers have seen his maturity and confidence grow”. Angie also expressed appreciation for the support offered to Sam through Ticket to Work and “especially all the modifications carried out at this workplace prior to him commencing”.
Sam’s mother, Toni, is also grateful of the opportunity that Ticket to Work has provided for her son. Toni acknowledges that it has helped her feel less anxious about Sam’s future and said that “where I once worried about my son’s future, I now look at a confident young man with a brighter life ahead”.
Paula Barnett, Principal at Berendale School and Sam’s employer, speaks very highly of Sam as a new staff member. Paula said that “we really value Sam’s work as it helps our office staff with the many and varied tasks a busy school office carries out. I know he enjoys his work and is proud of his growing independence. Sam will be with us until June 2014 and by that time I’m sure he will be ready for full time independent employment”.
Business Administration is just one of many industries that young people with disability are moving into through Ticket to Work. Other industries include retail, horticulture, automotive, hospitality, childcare, transport and logistics and information technology to name but a few.