In a mere seven months of Australian Government funding Ticket to Work has shown that … well … it works!
Ticket to Work is an initiative that brings communities together to improve the transition and employment outcomes of young people with disability. Ticket to Work was borne out of research which shows that, in Australia, young people with disability are more likely to drop out of school early, be excluded from the labour force, have fewer educational qualifications, experience poverty and be socially isolated.
Since receiving funding in October 2013, Ticket to Work has seen an extraordinary growth in the number of students, employers, schools and community organisations now participating in workplace preparation and Australian School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships activities. Simply put, more Australian young people with disability are now better placed and confident to move into post-school employment and training.
Since launching Ticket to Work nationally late last year, just over 25 regions in almost all states and territories have now established their own Local Ticket to Work Network.
In seven months, just over 300 young people have undertaken work experience or workplace preparation activities; 100 of which have now commenced in a paid School-based Traineeship in various industry areas. One hundred and eighty-two (182) employers are now engaged with Ticket to Work and providing direct support or employment to young people with disability. Close to 100 schools, made up of disability-specific and mainstream secondary schools, are now working with a Local Ticket to Work Network in their region. In addition 136 organisations, that come from a wide range of sectors, are members of Ticket to Work in their local community.
In addition to achieving significant successes across Australia, Ticket to Work is also proud to launch its own website – www.tickettowork.org.au The website is a useful vault of information, news, resources and also presents individual stories from the perspectives of young people and employers who have taken part in Ticket to Work.
To achieve these outcomes in such a short amount of time and across a broad geographic area is something that Ticket to Work did not expect when it was launched as a national model in late 2013. Louisa Ellum, Chief Executive Officer of the BGK LLEN, said that, “We have concrete evidence that community partnerships and collaboration works and this has been one of the greatest successes in the disability employment space for a long time. Imagine what this can lead to”.
Ticket to Work takes a partnership approach to improving the employment and education outcomes of young people with disability. Ticket to Work brings together a range of local partners (including industry, schools, youth organisations, employment agencies and training providers) who work together to provide students with career development, workplace preparation, work experience and traineeships. These organisations bring their various skills and expertise together to collectively address youth disability employment issues in their local community.
National Ticket to Work Manager, Michelle Wakeford said, “It has been fabulous to see opportunities for young people with disability created all around Australia. However, Australia still lags well behind other nations when it comes to increasing the labour force participation of young people with disability. We are still keen to hear from others that would like to work with us to create even more employment opportunities”.
Bree, a 17 year old young person with an intellectual disability said, “I would recommend Ticket to Work because it helps people like me to get a job doing what I want to do”.