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Feb 09, 2024

Building confidence and gaining valuable skills for employment

Individual Supports News

Today, thanks to Northcott’s persistence and support, the 22-year-old has a new level of confidence and is well on his way to becoming a disability Support Worker.

Finishing high school and feeling lost

Like many young people, Jacob finished high school without a clear idea of what he wanted to do next. With the support of his parents, he took a gap year to try to figure out what he wanted to do. During this time, Jacob’s anxiety worsened to the point he didn’t want to go out or talk to other people. That’s when he signed up to access Northcott’s one-on-one support.

“When I had my first Northcott support worker, I wouldn’t let him come inside my house because I was too anxious. I didn’t really want to talk or go out. For six weeks, he sat outside.

“Eventually he got through to me and finally got me outside with him. Then he got me to come into the Northcott office and here I am today…That was really one of my biggest achievements,” explains Jacob.

Building skills to become job ready

Northcott Service Coordinator Jack picks up the story. “We quickly identified that Jacob didn’t have too many barriers to employment. Once his anxiety improved, we didn’t need to support him to interact with the outside world. However, he did need support with basics such as understanding the expectations around having a job, when and how to show up for work and with gaining skills.”

Northcott developed a tailored training and employment service for Jacob that helped him figure out what he wanted to do, while also building up his mental health, confidence and job-ready skills.

In my first year at Northcott, I was mostly doing training to try to figure out what job I wanted to do and to help me get the right skills for that. I decided I wanted to do TAFE to become a disability support worker. I was inspired by my mum who is a social worker and I wanted to give back to help other people with disability like Northcott helped me.


To support him to complete his Certificate III in Disability Support, in 2022 Jacob was offered work experience with Northcott. Guided by Jack, Jacob is part of the staff. He supports other participants, helps with setting up the training equipment and joins in team meetings.

A positive role model 

Jack says Jacob has become a positive role model in the training and employment service for school leavers, barely recognisable from when he first connected with Northcott.

“Jacob has come so far with his mental health. I can barely remember the young man we first met in 2021. The change is incredible,” Jack says.

Jacob is grateful to Jack and the team at Northcott for supporting him to overcome some difficult times. He’s excited about what his future may hold thanks for the confidence he has gained with Northcott’s support.

“I’m really proud to have done my Certificate III at TAFE. It was a lot of stress but I ended up getting through it. Now getting a job is important for my independence and to use the skills I’ve learnt. I also want to save money to move out.

“Without Northcott, I would still be lost. I would still be that anxious person. I’ve opened up a lot more because of the support Northcott has given me.”

Individual Supports

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