Welcome to the official launch of the quarterly e-newsletter for the National Disability Coordination Officer program in Western Australia. Read on to find out more about the program.

Launch of new NDCO program

EDGE Employment Solutions has been awarded all three of the newly created National Disability Coordination Officer positions in Western Australia.

The National Disability Co-ordination Officer Program is a national initiative funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The NDCO Program aims to assist people with a disability to move successfully between school, vocational education and training (VET) and university, to succeed in their chosen studies and to secure suitable employment.

The three NDCOs, Trevor Paterson, Nicole Cox and Kylie Rogers, all operate from Perth, and can be contacted on 9286 6600 or by emailing:




Trevor Nicole Kylie

Careertips: start here . . .

Careertips website has the information and resources to get your careers on track.

EDGE and the NDCO Program have developed a web-based information and resource guide for school leavers, TAFE students and university students with disability. Careertips is designed to help people with disability get their careers on track from the outset by helping to clarify what they would like to do in the future, what courses would best assist them to secure later employment in their chosen career, how to access and successfully complete those courses, and how to get the job they want after they graduate.

Many other people and services can help students with disability to achieve their study and career goals. Careertips also has sections for career counsellors, lecturers, disability support staff, disability employment agencies, mentors and prospective employers.

Careertips is a practical, up-to-date and easy-to-read guide that has received thousands of hits since it launch four years ago, has earned plaudits from around Australia and has been incorporated into the curricula of a number school programs around the nation.

To go to the Careertips website, please click on this link www.careertips.net.au.

Supported Work Experience into Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SWEAT) Program

The SWEAT Program is a career development strategy which aims to give Year 11 students with learning, physical or sensory disabilities the opportunity to gain work experience in industries offering traineeships and apprenticeships. Successful applicants will be placed one day per week in a workplace for up to 15 weeks. Students will have an option of up to nine industries that are known to offer good career prospects.

The program is co-ordinated by EDGE Employment Solutions in conjunction with participating schools. Students will be nominated by teachers and selected by EDGE, who will promote place and support students with a host employer in one of the chosen industries.

The SWEAT Program will give students an insight into work demands, workplace practices, work behaviours, and the prospect of completing a school-based traineeship. The students will receive feedback about their work placement from the employer and EDGE, which will assist them to select an appropriate pathway to future employment. Students who successfully complete their placements will be considered for a school-based traineeship in Year 12.

Since its inception in September 2005, the SWEAT program has achieved the following statistics:

  • 119 students have expressed interest in program;
  • 68 students registered;
  • 56 students placed;
  • 38 placements completed;
  • 9 school-based traineeships secured;
  • 8 school-based traineeships completed; and
  • 31 DEN registrations.

Stepping into program

The Australian Employer’s Network on Disability facilitates its highly successful Stepping into . . . program - a unique paid internship program for university students with disability.

Stepping into . . . provides participating students with four weeks’ paid work experience within a professional organisation, assisting them to develop their technical and professional skills and to gain practical, hands-on experience in their chosen field.

The program was launched by the Australian Employers’ Network on Disability, with the initial program "Stepping into Law" commencing in 2005 and running in Sydney only. Since then the program has gone from strength to strength and been extended to more disciplines. The Australian Employers’ Network on Disability has now expanded the program from Sydney to Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth.

The Stepping into . . . program comprises of winter and summer internships. In 2008 Stepping into . . . will include:

  • Stepping into Law;
  • Stepping into Banking;
  • Stepping into Accounting;
  • Stepping into Human Resources; and
  • Stepping into Information Technology.

Participating employers include the Department of Defence, Westpac, ANZ, KPMG, Merrill Lynch, Qantas, the Australian Tax Office, Freehills, the NSW Attorney General’s Department, Baker & McKenzie, Henry Davis York, RailCorp NSW and Telstra.

With Australia in the grips of significant skills shortages, it is increasingly important for employers to develop barrier-free recruitment processes so that talented people with disability who are looking for employment are not (directly or indirectly) discriminated against.

Participating employers learn to:

  • Recognise barriers in their recruitment processes;
  • Successfully recruit from the entire talent pool;
  • Improve the quality of application, interviewing and selection processes;
  • Build expertise in implementing workplace adjustments for people with disability;
  • Develop barrier-free work environments; and
  • Meet their diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility objectives simply by providing equitable employment opportunities for people with disability.

Karratha try a Trade and Go Pro Career Expo 2008

#Following article was provided by Julie Pope, RICA Pilbara Region, CCIWA

Students from Karratha Senior High School, St Lukes College, Roebourne School and Punmu Remote Community School attended the 2008 "Try a Trade & Go Pro" Career Expo held at the Karratha Entertainment Centre in August 2008. Over 500 students were treated to a Career Fest with 48 exhibitors on hand to promote their trade or profession.

Local businesses gave their time freely to talk with the students about their career choices and the best way for them to achieve their career goals. The students had the opportunity to have a real "hands on" approach in the trade section which included sign making, brick laying, welding, earth moving, hospitality and many more. Inside the KEC a hub of industry gathered to discuss the trades and professions available within their organizations. The students had the chance to speak with representatives from four of the major universities from Perth to discuss options for higher education.

Career Expos are vital in regional areas, it gives the kids an opportunity to see what is on offer to them right here in the Pilbara, we need to show our youth that there is a vast selection of occupations open to them right here, by doing this we may be able to keep more young people in town and help address the skills shortage that is impacting on our community.

These events benefit both the students and industry. Students receive quality career information direct from the people in the know and industry get to see first hand the next crop prospective tradespeople and professionals.

The students appeared to enjoy the day, many leaving with "cammed" faces courtesy of the Pilbara Regiment or sparkly hair from the Pilbara TAFE hairdressing display but all leaving with more knowledge about the real world of work.

The students of the Pilbara Region deserve the same kind of career events that are enjoyed by their metropolitan counterparts and though this may not be as big on the ground as Perth, it is much bigger in heart and commitment by those involved.

The Expo organizing committee which is made up of representatives from across the education and career sector would like to thank major sponsor North West Shelf Venture, RIO TINTO and Coates National Hire for their fantastic support and of course the hard working and always smiling exhibitors that made the day a huge success, without the community input events like this would not get off the ground.

It is going to be hard to top the 2008 Try a Trade and Go Pro Career Expo but we will give it a go!

Julie Pope
Regional Industry Career Adviser
Pilbara Region

#Try a Trade/Go Pro and similar events are happening across Northern WA in 2009. Please refer to the 'events' section of the WA NDCO website for further information/dates.


This project enabled ten young Western Australians, including 6 with a disability, to showcase their working lives via the national digital career resource known as WIRL or "What's It Really Like?" As its name suggests, WIRL targets its youthful audience by creating genuinely insightful glimpses of young people's experience in training and employment. These video segments can be easily accessed via the South West VETlink website: Click here.

WIRL South West was a collaborative project involving the Disabilities Focus Group (facilitated by South West VETlink) which brings together numerous organisations in the South West who all have a commitment to improving the lives of people with a disability. The WIRL film crew travelled from Melbourne to film the segments, giving the six young people with a disability and four young people from rural backgrounds involved in the project, firsthand experience of participating in an intensive, media project. They were then interviewed and filmed in line with the project's tight deadlines for completing each segment.

South West VETlink hosted a celebratory "Lunch and Launch" for all the participants, their families and employers at which the young stars were given another media opportunity to respond to questions about their experience on the project.

WIRL South West provides an excellent platform for local young people to contribute their stories to a national career development context.

To purchase your own copy of the DVD - $10.00 per copy (incl. postage and handling). Phone Carolyn on (08) 9751 4333 to place your order.

Visit our website

Be amongst the first to visit our new NDCO web-site at www.ndcowa.net.au

Copyright © 2008 National Disability Coordination Officer Program. - All Rights Reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission. All guest articles are copyright to their respective owners and are reproduced with permission.

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