Local Ticket to Work Networks are building partnerships with diverse employers that represent a mix of small, medium and multinational structures. These employers offer a range of workplace preparation activities for students including work experience placements and Australian School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships. Read about just a few of these employer stories below.
Snippers Garden Care (a sole operator business)
Phillip undertook a Ticket to Work Australian School-based Traineeship (ASbAT) with Snippers Garden Care, a sole operator gardening maintenance business, during 2012. While completing his horticulture School-based Traineeship, Phillip was also completing his secondary studies at Berendale School.
Phillip was thinking about a horticulture career, but it was only after working one day per week with Snippers Garden Care that he decided this type of work genuinely suited him. Phillip has said that the early starts, manual work and on-site locations made him “really enjoy gardening and maintenance”.
Trevor, Snippers Garden Care’s Owner, said that being part of Ticket to Work and employing Phillip made great business sense. “Over time, Phillip became more confident and skilled and together we are able to finish jobs quicker than I ever could on my own”, said Trevor.
Phillip has now finished his ‘Certificate II in Horticulture’ School-based Traineeship and has completed school. In 2014 Phillip is employed part-time by SnippersGarden Care and also works part-time in the retail sector. The technical and transferrable employability skills Phillip developed during his School-based Traineeship have been recognised as playing a critical role in him being able to source and maintain ongoing employment in two different industry areas since completing school.
Because of Trevor’s personal experience with Ticket to Work he has also promoted the program amongst his own networks and, as a result of this, other local horticultural businesses have shown interested in providing Ticket to Work School-based Traineeship.
Bunnings, Mentone Store (a multinational business)
The national retail hardware company Bunnings was approached by Marriott Employment Options, a Ticket to Work Disability Employment Service (DES) partner, in 2012 to enquire about Australian School-based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (ASBAT) employment for a school student keen to work in a hardware retail setting.
The local store, Bunnings in Mentone (Melbourne), ecided to employ their ASBAT student Oliver because he showed genuine interest in this industry. Oliver was employed one day per week whilst undertaking ‘Certificate II in Retail’ training and during his ASBAT received support from Marriott Employment Options and his special school. This store had never employed a ASBAT student previously, from either a mainstream or special school setting, so involvement in Ticket to Work was a pilot employment arrangement for this large retailer.
Because this business had not employed a student with disability previously, staff undertook ‘Disability Awareness Training’ so that they could develop customised skills and knowledge that would assist them when working alongside and supervising Oliver.
During his ASBAT Oliver was a very productive member of the team. Oliver moved through a number of departments which enabled him to develop knowledge and skills in each area and because of this he is now very confident when helping customers. In 2013 Oliver was offered ongoing permanent part-time employment, and he is now undertaking additional in-house landscaping training to enhance his workplace skills. In 2014 Oliver is still employed with Bunnings and recently won an award for delivering outstanding customer service.
Andrew, Store Manager, said that “Ticket to Work has worked for our business because they were able to match us with a student that was interested in our workplace. We also got lots of support from Ticket to Work partners so that we could ensure Oliver received all the assistance he needed at work. Because of this Oliver has grown to be a really valuable member of the team and we were thrilled when he agreed to continue working with us after finishing his ASBAT.”
Oliver was very excited to receive an offer of ongoing work with his SBAT employer. Oliver is also a very strong advocate for Ticket to Work and ASBATs saying “I would tell students and parents that ASBATs can be really fun, interesting and they shouldn’t be nervous about them – if I could get to all schools and tell them about them I would”.
The Ticket to Work Network have been pleased to work with this large retailer who not only want to provide genuine work opportunities for young people with a disability but who also want to ensure that their staff are well equipped to work alongside new employees who present with disabilities.