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Feb 01, 2024

Getting young people with disability ready for work

News Work & Study

“The pandemic put a complete hold on work experience and paid employment opportunities for recent school leavers coming to Northcott for job support. Before that, many organisations were hesitant to take on people with disability because of a lack of understanding about their capabilities,” Josh says.

Through conversations with businesses as well as an industry roundtable meeting, Josh is raising awareness about the abilities of young people with disability – and creating real opportunities for work experience placements.

“I talk about the individual, their capabilities and the programs we have in place to build their job-ready skills and get them prepared for independence and moving into paid employment. With increased knowledge, employers are becoming more open to the idea of taking on a young person with disability for work experience. There are also a lot of opportunities showing real promise of paid employment to follow,” he explains.

Bunnings work experience program

In June, 65 participants from 7 Northcott sites across Greater Sydney kicked off a new work experience program at Bunnings.

“Bunning hasn’t provided work experience placements for people with disability in the past. I sent them information about our programs and what we are aiming to achieve, and they said they were keen to get on board,” Josh says. “We worked together on a program and now we’ve built an ongoing relationship with them.”

The participants are experiencing every department of Bunnings from the warehouse to working on the retail floor. Each participant is paired with a buddy who assists them. In their final weeks, they can choose an area of their interest in which to finish their work experience placement.

So far it’s gone really well. Our customers get a shirt and apron, learn skills and they feel part of the team.


“I’m proud to be playing my part in building connections and new work experience opportunities for our participants. This is a great way to support them to progress their skills, while trialing different types of industries and occupations. They are so excited to be doing work experience and you can see their confidence is growing. They are proud of themselves.”

What our customers think

Denny says, “I really like working in the tools section and helping customers and putting stock on the shelf. I also like talking with the people who work there.”

Oscar shares a little bit about what his day to day activities are like. “I worked in the tool section and I enjoyed making it neat and tidy. I also enjoyed working in the paint section where I got to clean up a section. I enjoy making sure the prices are correct and each section I am in is neat and tidy.”

Work & Study

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