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DWA smoothes the way for Kylie and Jarni


Jarni & KylieKylie and Jarni are far from your average trade apprentices. At high school they experienced difficulty coping with traditional academic activities and had no concrete ideas about their future beyond school.

Both Kylie and Jarni were assessed by a Disability Employment Service as having a learning disability. Now, thanks to a new career planning and job seeker program for students with a disability, they have progressed from school to the workforce, embarking on new careers in the construction industry.

The Career Planning for Job Seekers with Disabilities Project was a joint initiative between Willunga High School, Disability WORKS Australia and FWS Employment Services. The project aims were twofold; to prepare school leavers for participation in the workforce and to gain actual employment outcomes for students, based on their existing skills, interests and abilities.

JarniKylie's and Jarni's employment outcome was a plastering apprenticeship with Adelaide Ceiling Systems and they are well on their way to completing the accredited training required to make them fully qualified trade professionals.

DWA made this employment outcome possible by working closely with Adelaide Ceiling Systems and FWS Employment Services. Having direct links with all Australia's Disability Employment Services, DWA can make job placement so much easier for both job seekers and employers.

Part of the success formula for Kylie and Jarni has been their employer, Adelaide Ceiling Systems. The proprietor demonstrated a willingness to give them both a try and was able to make use of incentives available to employers who employ a person with a disability.

KylieAfter an initial work trial period Kylie and Jarni were both offered apprenticeships. DWA and FWS Employment Services helped their employer, Richard, to access the Disabled New Apprentice Wage Scheme (DNAWS).

This scheme has allowed Adelaide Ceiling Systems to employ at a special subsidised apprenticeship rate. It has also provided funds for Jarni to purchase tutorial assistance for his accredited training at TAFE.

FWS Employment Services has been providing Jarni, Kylie and the employer with a range of support services to ensure the apprenticeships run smoothly. This has included job coaching, monitoring job placements and assisting with completion of TAFE training requirements. To overcome potential learning difficulties at TAFE, FWS organised individual tutoring support at the TAFE campus, securing special disability funding to finance the support. Kylie and Jarni continue to be supported by FWS Employment Services throughout their apprenticeship and have now successfully completed their first year of accredited training at TAFE and nearing their second year with Adelaide Ceiling Systems.

Australia's network of disability services provides employers with a supportive and comprehensive alternative to mainstream employment agencies. DWA gives direct access to these services and to jobseekers like Kylie and Jarni who, with appropriate support, can overcome their disability and succeed at work.

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