Young people benefit from having opportunities to learn about working, to develop the skills they need to succeed in employment and build self-efficacy and self-belief. Where this is done well there are benefits for the individual in increasing their employability, for employers in helping them recruit staff who have the skills that they need and for communities in reducing unemployment and supporting young people to make good choices about training and employment.
Sale Specialist School, in regional Victoria, provides excellence in special education, delivered in a supportive and caring environment. The School has developed an innovative program that focuses on Individualised Career and employability learning linking to authentic community based work experience. The means to deliver outcomes in this area are the focus on the eight employability skills:
1 Communication
2 Teamwork
3 Problem solving
4 Initiative and enterprise
5 Planning and organising
6 Self-management
7 Learning
8 Technology
As employers report that the inability to meet the employability skills/competencies are a reason why employees (disclosed or not) are not successful in maintaining employment, the EMPLOY ABILITY partnership collaborated to produce a video/tool. The partnership consists of Sale Specialist School, National Disability Coordination Officer Program (NDCO), RuralAccess Wellington Shire and DJW Media, a subgroup of the Wellington Disability Transition Network. This tool uses case studies of a number of Sale students who have taken part in the community based work experience program, highlighting the employability skills they developed during the program and on placement. The aim of the partnership and the development of the tool is to increase awareness of the contribution young people with disabilities can make to the workforce and their communities. The video/tool is to be used in schools, employment agencies and prospective employers, highlighting the skills that young people with disabilities can bring to the workforce. This will increase inclusive employment opportunities and foster community connections, issues of significance in rural and regional communities across Australia.

Andrea Evans-McCall

National Disability Coordination Officer

Andrea Evans-McCall is the National Disability Coordination officer (NDCO) for Region 17 Eastern Victoria & South East Melbourne. Andrea was a secondary teacher for 14 years, she designed high quality curriculum programs to ensure that quality-learning took place and were inclusive to all learners. She has completed her Graduate Certificate in Careers Development in 2014 and in current her role as an NDCO she works strategically to assist people with disability to access, and participate in ‘Tertiary Education’ and subsequent employment. Andrea is a mother of a child with a disability and is passionate about empowering and supporting people with disability to reach their full potential.

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