Overcoming Barriers: From School to Employment Success in Mildura

Overcoming Barriers: From School to Employment Success in Mildura

In the heart of Mildura, an inspiring story unfolds as Robert, an 18-year-old diagnosed with Autism, transitions seamlessly from school to the workforce, thanks to the dedicated support of Employment Preparation & Engagement Consultant (EPEC) Ashley Chambers and Disability Employment Services (DES) EC William Ryan at are-able.

Robert embarked on his journey towards employment through the School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) program in October 2022, just before his final year of school. Over the course of the year, SLES provided invaluable support, focusing on building Robert’s confidence, motivation, and essential skills for the workplace. Meanwhile, DES EC William Ryan worked closely with Robert to enhance his communication skills, ensuring he was well-prepared for the job market.

With unwavering support, Robert graduated from high school and seamlessly transitioned into employment. Starting as a farm hand in December 2023, Robert’s dedication and enthusiasm caught the eye of employers. Recently, he embarked on a new chapter as he interviewed for an Apprentice Butcher role at Mallee Meats.

Robert has already left a lasting impression. His employer praises his work ethic, positive attitude, and eagerness to learn. In the words of Ashley Chambers, “We have had nothing but positive feedback from the employer.”

The journey to employment was not without its challenges, but with the assistance of are-able, Robert overcame each obstacle with grace. From providing interview-appropriate clothing and job interview training to arranging mock interviews and personal grooming sessions, every step was planned to ensure Robert’s success.

Now, Robert finds himself crumbing schnitzels, trimming fat off meat, and learning the intricacies of meat cutting under the guidance of experienced butchers at Mallee Meats. EPEC Ashley Chambers and DES EC William Ryan continue to provide ongoing support, visiting the workplace weekly to check in and assist with any necessary paperwork or pre-employment checks.

For Robert, gaining employment has been life-changing. It has not only provided him with financial independence and stability but has also boosted his confidence and communication skills. Reflecting on his journey, Robert shares, “I enjoy doing the job and learning and like that everyone I work with is really friendly.”

Robert’s story serves as an inspiration to many, showcasing the power of determination, support, and perseverance in overcoming barriers to employment. As he continues to thrive in his role, his story stands as a testament to the limitless potential of individuals with diverse abilities.

This success story not only celebrates Robert’s achievements but also highlights the invaluable support provided by organisations like are-able in empowering individuals to find their way in the workforce.

If you are interested in more information about are-able’s Disability Employment Services (DES) or School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) program please contact our team today.