Everyone has a right to participate in all sorts of activities, including work. Going to work creates both personal and vocational growth and adds to your teenager's network of friends. Earning a wage and feeling productive gives a positive feeling of self worth and independence. It enhances social interaction and the income helps to access other activities. In order to support your teenager make a successful transition to work a few myths may need to be dispelled.
There are a range of Employment Options available with varying degrees of support.
Open employment is the term used for people who participate in the mainstream employment market on the same bases as people without a disability. They can register with a Disability Employment Service to get help with interview preparation, applying for jobs and some support when they commence work. Your teenager can also register with these services before leaving school if they are looking for part-time work or will be leaving school.
The Supported Wage Scheme is a productivity-based wage assessment to determine fair pay if the person with disability finds it difficult to get or keep a full wage job because their disability affects their level of work productivity. A person who works on the supported wage system may look for work in open employment with the support of a Disability Employment Service or work within an Australian Disabilities Enterprise. (see below)
Disability Employment Services (DES) support people with a disability, learning difficulty, injury and health condition in their efforts to get and maintain a job. All eligible people with a disability have immediate access to the service they need. DES is a free service. There are no waiting lists. Disability Employment Services (DES) offer a range of services to support a job seeker's individual needs including:
- Help to prepare for work, including training in specific skills.
- Job search support, such as resume development, training in interview skills and help in looking for suitable jobs.
- Support when initially placed into a job, including on the job training and co-worker and employer support.
- Ongoing support in a job if required
- The purchase of vocational training and other employment related assistance
- Access to help with workplace modifications; support services and AUSLAN interpreting in the workplace.
There are two separate Programs within Disability Employment Services:
- Disability Management Service (DMS) is for job seekers with disability, injury or health conditions who require the assistance of a Disability Employment Service but are not expected to need long term support in the workplace.
- Employment Support Service (ESS) is for job seekers with permanent disability and with an assessed need for long term support in the workplace.
To find a DES provider go to: www.disabilityemployment.org.au/provider-search/sa/
For School Students
Young people can register with a DES in their final year at school. The benefit of the student registering before they leave is the evidence of their disability from the school can be used. The student may not have to undertake a Job Capacity Assessment through Centrelink first and can sign with a provider through Direct Registration. Many DES providers will assist students to find part time jobs (over 8 hours per week), which can help students build skills and confidence and a better resume, as well as provide welcome income.
How to Access DES
Contact a local Disability Employment Service provider directly or contact Centrelink on 132850 or visit your nearest Centerlink office and ask for a referral to a local DES provider. You can find out more about your local Disability Employment services contact Job Access on 1800 464 800 or www.jobaccess.gov.au
Questions to consider asking before making a commitment to become a client of a DES:
- Once registered, how long will I be a client of your service?
- What type of support do you provide? For example: do you support all day in a job if required?
- Do you offer any Programs to assist with work preparation?
- Do you provide transport support?
- What type of transport support do you offer? For example, will the trainer get on a bus with a client until they are familiar with the bus route?
- How long can someone remain a client if they do not have a job?
- What other services does your organisation offer?
- Do you assist with Centrelink issues?
- What kind of jobs can you find for your clients?
- Do you assist with preparing resumes?
- Do you assist with further studies or training?
- Does your organisation offer re-training for a new job or new position? For example: training a new task in the same workplace
Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships combine practical work with structured training to provide a nationally recognised qualification together with the experience needed to get into a selected field.
Australian Apprenticeships are now available in over 500 occupations in an increasing range of industries. Traditionally, apprenticeships are full time jobs that combine on the job training with part time training. A traineeship is generally shorter than an apprenticeship. Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships are covered by formal agreements known as Contracts of Training. These agreements set out the training and supervision an employer must provide as well as the obligations of the new apprentice. The training can be delivered on-the-job, off-the-job, or a combination of both. Off-the-job training is done with TAFE colleges, business colleges or other approved training providers.
An Australian Apprenticeship Centre (ACC) can provide information to employers, apprentices and trainees. They also provide incentive payments to employers. When your son/daughter has found an employer he/she will need to contact an Australian Apprenticeship Centre so that they can organise the details of the Training Agreement.
Group Training Organisations employ apprentices and trainees and then place these people with suitable host employers on a lease basis for all or part of the training period. It is a unique form of labour contract in which the employer (GTO) provides no work directly but does so through leasing the apprentice/trainee to one or more host employers. Apprentices and trainee employed by a GTO have the security of continuing employment throughout the training period and support from a coordinator from the GTO.
For information about Australian Apprenticeships and traineeships go to: http://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/ or The Australian Apprenticeship and Traineeship Information Service website - http://www.aatinfo.com.au/Home
There a couple of Programs that can support young people with disability in an Apprenticeship or Traineeship called Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS)http://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/Program/support-australian-apprentices-disability and Mentoring Australia's Apprentices Project (MAAP) http://www.vetnetwork.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=191