Start date: April 2020Completion date: June 2024
Funded by Department of Social Services
School to Work aims to inspire, increase confidence and motivate students with disability to find and keep meaningful employment with the help and support of their family. This will be achieved by delivering a series of webinars and workshops, two conferences, and the development of resources.
The School To Work Project
Together with Resourcing Inclusive Communities/Family Advocacy (NSW) and CRU – Community Resource Unit (QLD), we are working on a project to support young people with disability to engage with employment.
This project is funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) – Economic Participation Grant under Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) funding.
This was initially a three-year project. However, funding was extended for another 12 months with a new completion date of June 2024
The project hopes to see the trend reversed on poor disability employment figures. We want people with disability who have the desire and capacity to work to have greater choice and access to the right supports to achieve their employment goals.
Working and contributing to society are important for everyone, and everyone can have a real job. School to Work will help families build confidence to explore what work might look like for them. When work goals are set early in a child’s high school years, there are many potential benefits:
- developing a sense of belonging
- making connections and friends
- starting to find financial independence
- building a career.
The project consists of:
- 12 webinars each year (2020, 2021, 2022)
- Two in-depth workshops each year (2021, 2022, 2023)
- One national conference in the Australian Capital Territory
- Development of resources to support families through this journey.
Please contact Fiona McIntosh for more information: fiona (at) imaginemore.org.au
Why Is Employment for People With Disability So Important?
People with disability have significant barriers to obtaining paid employment. Australia ranks 21 out of 29 in the employment of people with disability among OECD countries. The rate of NDIS participants in employment has remained at 21% throughout the life of the Scheme and only 41% of this group aged between 14 and 25 obtained paid employment in the open market.
The most recent NDIS employment outcomes data reported that people with Down syndrome and intellectual disability are most likely to be working in an Australia Disability Enterprise (ADE) rather than in open employment (NDIS 2018, Outcomes Report).
How Can We Change These Grim Statistics?
To improve these outcomes, a grassroots approach is needed. Individual families must develop the vision, knowledge and capacity to support their children to plan early, harness the use of existing pathways in the school years and support their children to find and keep meaningful employment.
Please visit our events page to learn about and register for upcoming School to Work events.
Nov 2020Introductory Webinars
In November/December 2020, each of the three organisations held introductory webinars for the following cohorts:
Imagining Work for families of students in Years 7-8
Discovering Work for families of students in Years 9-10
Finding Work for families of students in Years 11-12
The information contained in the majority of the webinars was much the same in the ACT, New South Wales, and Queensland. However, some of the content delivered was specific to the state or territory it was presented in to ensure we covered local schemes and issues.
Feb 2021Introductory Webinars
The introductory webinars were refined and held for a second time during February 2021.
May 2021Introductory Webinars
The four introductory webinars were further refined and delivered during April and May 2021.
Following our webinars, we invited students with disability, their families, and others to embark upon a deeper exploration of work.
We conducted the Imagining, Discovering, and Finding Work workshop twice during June 2021. The workshops were held live in Canberra.
Over 50 people registered to attend.
Jun 2021Employment Resource Development
We delivered our first resource aimed at supporting high school students to find employment.
Jul 2021Webinars Series
A new series of webinars was delivered in July-September 2021.
A series of workshops for secondary school students with disability and their families.
Mar 2022Second Employment Resource
A resource to support secondary students with disability to find meaningful work after school.
May 2022Conference (NSW)
This is the first of two conferences that will be held as part of this project.
May 2022Webinar Series
Our final round of webinars for secondary school students with disability.
Our final series of workshops will be delivered between October 2022 and April 2023.
Work Experience: Think outside the gate – for families
Work Experience: Think outside the gate – for professionals
Feb 2023Workshop - The Discovery Process
The Discovery Process with Milton Tyree.
The recording of this webinar has been added to our website as a permanent resource.
Mar 2023Webinar - Implementing the Discovery process, part 1
A webinar to assist families in implementing the Discovery process.
Apr 2023Webinar - Implementing the Discovery process, part 2
A second webinar to assist families in implementing the Discovery process.
May 2023Foundational School to Work webinars
A series of three webinars to support secondary school students, their families and educational professionals who support them.
- For families of students in Years 7 and 8
- For families of students in Years 9 and 10
- For families of students in Years 11 and 12
May 2023Conference (ACT)
The Opening Opportunities conference
- 25-26 May 2023
- Hotel Realm, Canberra
The conference will feature stories from people with disability, families, professionals and international experts who have created jobs for people with disability through Customised Employment.
Production of an animated video explaining Customised Employment
Jun 2023Workshop - Visual resumes
Visual resume development
Jul 2023Webinar - Creating a visual resume, part 1
A webinar to support families in creating a visual resume
Aug 2023Webinar - Creating a visual resume, part 2
A second webinar to support families in creating a visual resume
Sep 2023Workshop - Job development and job support
In collaboration with Milton Tyree, we will deliver a workshop on Job development and job support.
Oct 2023Webinar - Engaging support - part 1
A webinar to assist families in planning and engaging support for job development and job support
Nov 2023Webinar - Engaging support - part 2
A second webinar to assist families in planning and engaging support for job development and job support
Feb 2024Webinars and workshops
Webinars and workshops from February to June 2024
Jun 2024Project complete