Chelsea’s WOOWed by work experience program

By Kate Reid, 14 August 2019 , Comments

Finding a job is never easy; but it’s even harder when employers want experience and you don’t have any.

That’s why Northcott recently introduced the Within Our Own Walls (WOOW) work experience program, to give our Vocational Skills and Everyday Life Skills customers the opportunity to gain experience working with Northcott.

“It was designed so the customer can experience what it is like to work in a team, and the manager gets the experience of managing an employee with disability,” Inclusive Workplace Officer Ben Keyte said.

The first participant to take part in the program is 19-year-old Chelsea, who started working with Northcott’s Communications team in March this year.

Chelsea was informed by Vocational Skills staff members about the new program and that the Communications team were looking for someone to provide support for a couple of hours a week.

“The staff told me I would be tagging photos on a computer,” Chelsea said.

“I was interested because I wanted some work experience and I also wanted to gain new skills and learn new things that I could add to my resume.”

Going through a similar process to applying for a job, Chelsea was one of several participants that interviewed for the role.

“I did an interview and it was surprisingly relaxing!” Chelsea said.

“I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be,” she laughed.

When she was offered the role, Chelsea says she was ‘ecstatic’. Now months into the program, Chelsea is enjoying the role and the work environment.

“I find it relaxing actually. When I come in I go onto Adobe Bridge and I click on each photo and choose which category I think is most relevant to the photo,” Chelsea said.

“I actually think that it’s helped me develop computer skills and IT skills – skills that I never had before.

“All the staff members are really nice and really friendly and it’s not as stressful as I thought it would be. I’m surprisingly comfortable with it, mostly because it’s not a crowded environment and people are just doing their own thing.”

Communications Manager Madeleine Donkin says the work Chelsea has been doing has been a huge help to the team.

“Chelsea’s assistance to tag the images in our image library has been fantastic,” Madeleine said.

“It will allow members from the Communications team to efficiently search the image library for suitable images to use. This will save us so much time and we are so thankful to Chelsea!”

Now with the extra work experience on her resume, Chelsea is thinking about her future career goals.

“My biggest goal is to get part time paid employment, so that way I can have more time to spend with my family and I can help out around the house,” Chelsea said.

“The program helped me be more confident and happy within myself.

“It’s the best program ever and I would recommend it to everyone else!”

Related content

Click here to find out how Natalie found employment and independence with Northcott.

Read about Dinesh, who didn’t let disability stop him from becoming a doctor.


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