Passport 2 Employment

Through your donations, a collaboration of National Disability Coordination Officer program, Ticket to Work Network, Gordon TAFE and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisation Diversity Field Officer Service in Geelong are strengthening educational, employment and social participation of young people with disability aged 15-19 through the Passport 2 Employment Program.

The Passport to Employment program is a 7 week program to help develop confidence and employ-ability skills for young people with disability in our region. Over the next 12 months the program will be delivered twice in Geelong and once Colac.

The unemployment rate for people with disability in the Greater Geelong region is 16% compared to 6.3% of the general population; with a labour force participation rate of just 9.3% compared to 63.4% of people without disability. The Colac Otway Shire unemployment rate is 7.9% compared to 4% of people without disability, with a labour force participation rate of just 9.5% compared to 62.3% of people without disability.

Deloittes reported in 2011 that “young Australians with disability are particularly at risk of being caught in a welfare dependency trap. It’s crucial that they receive the support required to participate in the workforce as early as possible to drive effective long-term employment outcomes and maximise the benefits of improved standards of living and social inclusion that come with employment.”

The Passport 2 Employment program seeks to address these issues.

17 young people recently graduated from the first Geelong program. The collaborative effort also included 22 local employers and six local schools.  Throughout the seven week program, students participated in workshops on employability skills, living healthy lifestyles, industry visits, and a shopping trip to buy interview clothes. Students attended every Friday, with venues ranging from The Gordon City campus classrooms, Geelong Gym, the Geelong Cats Community Centre. The program culminated with an opportunity for the young people to put what they learned into action through in a  series of mock interviews with real employers.

As the comments note below the program was an absolute success for the young people involved.

Comments from teachers
“It has not only built confidence but also motivation and morale to attempt other things at school”

“Seeing the difference from week 1 to week 7 is amazing, students are smiling, interacting with confidence, with complete strangers on interview day”

Comments from parents
“I never realised so many people and organisations were interested and able to work with my daughter, this is wonderful”

Comments from students
“ I have done 7 interviews …how many have you done? “ …( very common style comment on interview day)

“I really liked it and I am going to miss everyone, I wish it was continuing”