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Feb 14, 2024

Gaining confidence and job skills after school

Life Skills News Skills 4 Life Work & Study

Our second Life After School program was a life-changing experience for 28 participants. The young adults with disability gained vital employment skills and valuable work experience out in the real world.

After completing Life After School, participants said they felt more confident about looking for work and understanding workplaces. At the group’s graduation in June, Northcott’s Program Coordinator, Tanjina Rahman said: “It makes me feel overwhelmed to see how much the participants have achieved. It’s not only how this program has shaped them to find a job or gain employment skills. It’s about how they have improved their communication skills, how they have grown in confidence to go out there and talk to people, nurture friendships.”

What is Life After School?

Life After School is a 6-month face-to-face program providing practical support, mentoring, coaching and work experience opportunities for young people with borderline disability who are not eligible to receive NDIS funding. The program aims to support participants to develop skills to find and keep a job. In 2023, Life After School was delivered at four Northcott centres, in collaboration with TAFE and Disability Employment Services. In a group setting, participants completed modules to prepare them for applying for jobs and understanding workplaces. Each participant also completed a work experience placement in an industry or business of their choice, including Bunnings and Target. Northcott’s Library, Life Skills service, Therapy and Administration teams also offered work experience opportunities.

Taneisha, aspiring writer

“When I first joined the program, I isolated myself from people and I didn’t talk much. But after a few lessons, I managed to gain some new confidence. “I’ll be enrolling in a course at TAFE called Statement of Creative Writing, while working part-time in a retail job. Because of Bunnings [work experience], I hope that I can be transferred from a trainee to an employee, to help me to become a writer.”

Sam, aspiring occupational therapist

“I learned a lot more about work and etiquette … I didn’t have a lot of experience with that, or a lot of knowledge. I also learned more about how important communication is in life and in work. The program has definitely helped. “I’ve learned I want to do a lot more with people with autism. I think I’ve got knowledge that is really helpful and I want to work doing therapies that are very fun and engaging. After the program, I’m thinking of exploring more opportunities in the therapy space and practicing things I’ve learned.”

Lloyd, aspiring librarian

“I feel clearer about what I should be doing to get a job. I was really unsure before about how it works. Now I feel more coherent about using websites such as Seek and Indeed and Jura to search for jobs. Also, how to write resumes, I never knew that before. I didn’t understand it but now I do. “Working the Northcott Library has been very rewarding. It has built my skills up higher in shelving, knowing how to catalogue and the Dewey Decimals system.”

Life After School is funded by an Australian Government Information Linkages and Capacity (ILC) Building grant.

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