Shaping Futures Pilot Program
Westvic Staffing Solution’s Shaping Futures Pilot Program adopted a targeted approach for creating employment outcomes for secondary students with a disability, giving them an increased chance of entering mainstream employment post-secondary school. The program has created and supported in excess of 40 school-based employment outcomes for secondary students with a disability across Victoria. The program has worked closely with local secondary schools and TAFE Institutes to design and develop training packages that will integrate into their secondary study timetable.
The program has enabled a mix of school-based employment opportunities, with support tailored to the individual needs of the students.
This support provided has included pre-employment preparation, enhanced tailored mentoring to suit the individual, and support and mentoring for the engaged host employers, some of which will not have had experience employing individuals with a disability.
The promotion of this program has taken a considerable effort from staff including Westvic’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Through this promotion and the ability to meet with senior level staff within organisations, Westvic have enabled the creation of some wonderful opportunities with major employers within the community.
Once Westvic had confirmed and secured host employment placements they then worked very closely with local secondary and development schools to promote this opportunity to them and their students. The feedback received from all schools has been very supportive and positive with schools realising the opportunities and development that this program can have for their students.
As an organisation, Westvic held student and parent information sessions in each region, detailing the outline and intention of the program along with an introduction to key stakeholders associated with the program (local TAFE’s and Apprenticeship Centres).
The student and parent information sessions reassured the parents that their son or daughter will be entering a formal employment arrangement with Westvic Staffing Solutions. The student is then placed in a safe host employment arrangement that has the appropriate mechanisms in place to support the placement of a student living with a disability.
Westvic Staffing Solutions is keenly invested in supporting people with a disability into employment. The Department of Health and Human Service’s data currently shows that less than 50% of vocational education and training graduates with a disability were employed after completing their training, compared with over 75% of graduates without a disability.
For this cohort, Westvic’s model of working whilst completing a vocational qualification in a safe environment, aims to raise the profile of vocational pathways and improve on the comparable statistics of individual transitioning into employment opportunities.