I participated in a webinar this week on “Improving school to work transition through the NDIS” hosted by Ticket To Work. The speaker was Ken Baker, Strategic Adviser for the NDIA. A key piece of information was that students can add employment goals to their Year 10. A very important piece of information for schools.

There is a strong evidence base to support young people with a disability to engage in the workplace from an early age. And this can be accessed from the Ticket to work website. Temple Grandin was my first introduction to this, in her story of working on a relatives’ farm as a teenager and being involved in the care of animals that was her passion as a young person and led to a life time career as an expert in her field. 

Yesterday I was so thrilled when two of our graduate students at EdSpace, currently doing a School Leaver Employment Support placement with us, managed our bike repair and service business, Wheelie Awesome, for the day. They handled all sales and completely managed the shop all day including repairing and replacing a bicycle tyre. 

Our students are in the work place at 15 years in the 3 enterprises run by our organisation. We know the benefits of this approach anecdotally with wonderful growth in our students from real life experience in the work place and continually developing employment skills. We have trained and employed three of our graduate students through the School Based Trainee and Apprenticeship System. Our younger students respond so well to them as role models and mentors.