are-able Foundation supports the 2019 Warrnambool Passport to Employment Program

In 2019 the are-able Foundation teamed up with South West Local Learning & Employment Network (LLEN) providing them with $5, 000 in funding to run the invaluable school based ‘Passport 2 Employment’ (P2E) program.
Delivered to Year 10-12 students the P2E program aims to support young people with disability or other learning barriers, who are at risk of disengaging from the education system. The program works to develop students’ knowledge, skills and opportunities for future employment, further education and/or training. Nineteen students from seven schools in Warrnambool and surrounds participated in the eight-week program. The program had weekly sessions focussing on topics such as employability, communication, presentation and life skills, overcoming systemic barriers to employment and / or further training, oral health, nutrition and fitness.

The overall aim of P2E is for participants to graduate with positive aspirations and attitudes towards life after school and a belief in what they want to achieve, along with providing them with some of the skills required to plan their future.
At the conclusion of the program students were asked if they felt they had benefited from the program.
57% of students felt more confident about post school options
31% of students felt that they had created some post school goals
73% of students knew what services were available to support post school goals
78% of students improved their understanding of employability skills and the expectations of employers
73% had a better understanding of how to apply for a job
78% of students knew more about taking part in a job interview

The P2E Program concluded with a graduation ceremony held in the conference room SWTAFE and was well attended by families. The graduation ceremony was led by Mayor of Warrnambool, Councillor Tony Herbert, with are-able CEO Tom Scarborough as guest speaker addressing the participants and their families. All students received acknowledgment and awards for completing the program.
Parents of the children who participated in the program noted that “The program is fantastic for my child” and “I am positive that I will continue to see the benefits of the past eight weeks slowly infold over the coming months”.

Emily Lee-Ack, Executive Officer of the South West LLEN thanked are-able for their contribution to the program.  “The are-able Foundation grant of $5000 plus the additional support from are-able Works Social Enterprises and Employment Consultants Josh and Natalie was vital to the changes we made to this year’s program. Our aim to provide all students with all available pathways to Employment, from Social Enterprises to open employment, depending upon what fits the individual.  With this in mind Josh and Natalie were able to provide a clear understanding of what skills employers are looking for.  Josh and Natalie’s understanding of the requirements for employment outcomes was invaluable to our student’s development.   We finished to the program with a tour of are-able Social Enterprises division, this is always a request from parents.”

As a community based, not-for-profit organisation, are-able channels funding back into our regional community through the are-able Foundation.  This is a fund established to support activities in the communities in which we operate, so that organisations can improve access and opportunity to people living with a disability. Since it started in 2004, the Trust has distributed more than 1 million dollars to various groups across regional Victoria
are-able for your community, making a difference in the lives of people living with a disability!