Expanded SWEAT Program

Since it commenced in 2006, the Supported Work Experience and Training (SWEAT) Program (formerly, the Supported Work Experience into Apprenticeships and Traineeships Program), has pursued school-based traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities for school students with disability. The program will now offer an open employment pathway as well for students who are not interested in undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship.

The SWEAT Program will give all Year 12 students with a disability (Intellectual, learning, physical or sensory) an opportunity to gain work experience in industries offering good prospects for traineeships, apprenticeships and general employment.

The program will give students an insight into various occupations, workplace practices and work behaviours with the potential to lead to a traineeship, apprenticeship or general employment.

The SWEAT program is operated by EDGE Employment Solutions. Three SWEAT Co-ordinators work in conjunction with 40 schools around Perth and link students to suitable work experience placements in their area.

Students are nominated by teachers and selected by EDGE to complete a one day-per-week supported work experience placement over 12 weeks across an array of industries. Depending on the outcome of the work experience placement, students may move into work based traineeship, apprenticeship or general employment.

The expanded Supported Work Experience and Training (SWEAT) Program will be launched in June 2010. For further information please contact Craig Robb, Jenny Fuller or Rebecca Pileggi at EDGE Employment Solutions on (08) 9286 6600.

$5.2 million available in 2010 for school–community partnerships

A $25,000 Schools First award was last year awarded to the partnership between The National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) program and Holland Street School for their outstanding work in improving student outcomes through a 'Big Plan' partnership designed to provide smoother and better transitions for young people with disabilities through school, post-secondary education and into work.

This was one of 88 Schools First awards provided nationwide to primary and secondary schools and their community partners. The awards recognised the partnerships' direct impact on improved student outcomes, including greater engagement and increased attendance; improved literacy or numeracy; increased self-esteem; social, vocational or civic outcomes; global awareness and action.

In 2010, Schools First has $5.2 million to award to 108 school community partnerships. Schools First is open to all community partners who have partnerships with primary and secondary schools across Australia. Benefits to the community partners can include increased participation in the local community, strengthening of industry pathways for workplace development, increase in staff engagement and development, as well as increasing the promotion of other programs or services.

''It is important to note that award winning partnerships in 2009 included a broad range of community groups including not-for-profit organisations, local government, industry bodies, universities, small and big businesses, sporting organisations to name a few'', said Jodi Cryan, Head of Schools First, NAB.

Schools First is brought to life by NAB in partnership with The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and Australian Council For Educational Research (ACER).

''As a 2009 award winner, The National Disability Coordination Officer has proven its leadership in school partnerships,'' said Cryan. ''Schools First would like to encourage other departments within the organisation or associated organisations to get involved in Schools First in 2010.''

There are several ways that community organisations can get involved in 2010. The first is to attend one of over 30 Partnership Forums across the country in April to early June, including 4 sessions in Western Australia during May 2010 (Perth, Bunbury, Geraldton and Albany). These forums will provide information about what makes a successful partnership, and is an invaluable opportunity to meet with like-minded locals and explore potential new school-community partnerships. Registrations for the forums will soon close, so register now at www.schoolsfirst.edu.au.

If you can not attend a forum, visit the Schools First website where all content from Partnership Forums will be available. A direct channel to ask questions of ACER and FYA will also be available on the website, along with a wealth of other resources including application guidelines and key dates for 2010.

Additionally, the website provides an on-line ''partnership matching service'' where community organisations and schools can search for a partner if they don't already have one.

Funds are allocated to the winning schools to invest directly back into their award-winning partnership.

Stay tuned to the next E-Newsletter for the scoop on the outcome of Geraldton's 'Big Plan' School's First partnership, or contact NDCO Nicole Cox (nicole.cox@edge.org.au) for further information on this project.

Best Practice - Department of Training and Workforce Development


In 2008 the then Department of Education and Training funded a pilot program at the then Central TAFE, to enable a student who required attendant care to participate in a full time Certificate III qualification. This pilot program set a precedent in Australia.

I am pleased to inform you that commencing January 2010, this pilot program has been extended to all Western Australian public training providers.

The provision of this high level support will be limited to the time that the students are on campus (so does not include work experience or practical placements). A process for this extended pilot program is provided in Attachment A. Training institutions are requested to nominate an officer to monitor these processes and to advise the Department on possible improvements to the processes and the program.

To be eligible for this support, a student must:

  • require high level non-academic support (personal care such as toileting and meal time assistance);
  • be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or holder of visa subclass 309, 310, secondary 457, 785, 820, or 826;
  • be enrolled as a full-time student in a qualification at your institution at Certificate III level or higher; and
  • not be receiving money for attendant care from any other source (public or private).

All academic support needs of students in this pilot program are to be met by your institution, under the existing funding arrangements for disability support.

This pilot program is a significant development in the provision of training for people with disability.

Further information may be obtained by telephoning Helen Errington on 9238 2438. Or email helen.errington@trainingwa.wa.gov.au

Try-a-Trade mobile Road Show - coming to you in 2010

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) has awarded Strategic Project Funding to Region 28 for 'Mobile Try-a-Trade'; a nationally strategic project that supports the delivery and operation of the National Disability Coordination Officer Program.

The project involves a team consisting of skilled trades men and trades women and support staff, traveling around regional and remote areas of Western Australia, to promote career paths in industries experiencing skill shortages in Regional Western Australia. Trades and skills showcased will include road works, concreting, administration, maintenance, horticulture, brick-laying, plastering, pastoral, catering, the arts, mechanical, and tourism.

Trades men and women will each manage a 'try-a-trade' activity, which will provide event participants the opportunity to physically carry out tasks common to their particular trade or skill. For example, the brick layer stall will support participants to mix mortar, use a trowel, lay bricks and use a spirit level to measure accuracy.

Trades men and women will represent businesses from within the Mid-west/ Pilbara and Kimberley. Members of the skilled team will represent a variety of demographics including Youth, Aged Work force, Aboriginal Australians, Disability and Mixed Gender, to enhance the scope and impact of the 'trade team role models' through commonalities participants may relate to.

The Road-show will run events in approximately 20 locations during August and September, with each event offering participants up to 3 hours of 'try a trade' experiences. Event locations involve Wyndham, Kununurra, Warmun Community, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Looma Community, Derby, Lombadina Community, Beagle Bay Community, Bidyadanga Community, Marble bar, Roebourne, Onslow, Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Newman, Meekatharra, Wiluna, Leonora, Kalgoorlie, as well as surrounding communities to each event site.

Participants invited will range from school students, through to anyone in the working age group, as well as families, support networks, neighbors, friends and industry. Relevant stakeholders who service each region will also be invited to attend and contribute to events. For example, Group Training Organisations, TAFE and University Representatives, Educational Institutions, Employment Directions Networks and local indigenous organisations will offer advice and information to individuals interested in sourcing more information, and exploring possible career paths.

Event participants will be encouraged to create and submit illustrations, comments or short literature pieces regarding their 'Future dreaming' (goals/ dreams and aspirations). Members of the 'trade team' will provide non-fiction stories and pieces depicting their successful career pathways, and all pieces will be combined and collated into a book. This literature will be distributed to key stakeholders (Schools/ Post School educational institutions/ DES/ GTOs/ LACs) within region 28 as a tool aimed at inspiring aboriginals (particularly those with disability) to dream up/ plan and then work towards a meaningful (and possible) career.

Whether you would like to attend, provide support or sponsorship, participate in stalls or information sharing, or just want more information on the Mobile Try-a-trade project, contact Nicole Cox.

Email: nicole.cox@edge.org.au. Phone: 0400 243 125.

VET: Increasing Advantages for People with a Disability

New research suggests vocational education and training (VET) improves employment outcomes for people with a disability who don't have a job.

Released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), the report found that for an average person who is out of work and has a disability, completing VET increases the likelihood of getting a job from 9% to 29% in their first year after completion.

In comparison, for an average person who is out of work and does not have a disability, completing a VET course increases the likelihood of employment from 52% to 62% in their first year after completion.

Ms Francesca Beddie, General Manager, Research, NCVER said the benefits of VET for people with a disability are two-fold. ''Not only does VET prepare people with a disability for work, it also equips them with the skills to maintain employment as well,'' Ms Beddie said. ''The accessibility of VET makes it an attractive pathway for people with a disability and being able to prove competencies or skills sends a positive signal to employers. There is no denying that people with a disability are disadvantaged in the labour market and find it considerably harder to stay in employment. However, VET plays an important role in skilling people with a disability for the workforce and those who do complete a qualification have a better chance of finding a job.''

The role of vocational education and training in the labour market outcomes of people with disabilities can be downloaded from: www.ncver.edu.au

(Source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research)

Robert Attwood newly appointed NDCO region 26

I was appointed to the position of NDCO in March 2010.

I have worked in the Disability sector for the past six years in a variety of positions, and also have experience in education and further education sectors. Past positions have included working for Catholic Education as a Workplace Learning Officer developing individual work experience programs for year 11 high school students, a 6 year role as a Job Coordinator with EDGE Employment Solutions Apprenticeships and Traineeships team, and most recently as a Program Coordinator in the SWEAT Program (Supported Work Experience into Apprenticeships and Traineeships Program).

Projects that I am currently working on in collaboration with various stakeholders from Region 26 include:

Trade Road Show - Wheatbelt

This inclusive project aims to identify and engage with businesses local to the Wheatbelt region, and then link these businesses up with students, to explore career opportunities from a firsthand point of view. Students will have the opportunity to have a real 'hands on' approach in the trade section, which aims to showcase trades including bricklaying, welding, earth moving, hospitality and many more. Students will also have the chance to speak to and receive information about other post school options such as TAFE, DES providers and other employment agencies. Local industry will also be available to provide information on career opportunities that may exist within their local area.

Driver Mentoring Program

This program aims to assist young people with disability to access a vehicle and mentor(s) to support Learners to achieve the number of required hours (currently 25 hours over a minimum of 6 months) to sit their Hazard Perception Test, in order to gain their Provisional Drivers License.

Prerequisites: Driver Mentor Program participants will have completed 'Keys for Life' which enables them to gain their Learners Permit, and also undertaken a minimum of 2 lessons with a professional driving instructor.

Your Futures Youth Conference

The purpose of the Conference is to:

  • Inform students, teachers and families about employment and further education options and supports available;
  • Promote the excellence of Vocational Education and Training in schools (VETIS) and the value of Traineeships and Apprenticeships;
  • Create better links between students, families, schools and post school destinations; and
  • Send an inspirational message to students and raise expectations about the possibilities available to them when they finish school.

Conference dates are yet to be determined, however it is anticipated the Conference will be held in Term 4, 2010.

If you wish to discuss any of the above projects, or any other matter relevant to region 26, Rob can be contacted on:

Email: robert.attwood@edge.org.au. Phone: 9286 6600 or 0437 437 838


Perth Career Expo
Address: Perth Convention Exhibition Centre (Perth)
Date: 13th to 16th May 2010
Open 9.00am - 3.00pm Thur/Fri and 10.00am - 4.00pm Sat/Sun. Free Entry
Phone: (08) 9476 9423 Email: careers@exibit.com.au

Geraldton 'Careers Big Day Out'
Address: Holland St School- Geraldton
Date: 19th May 2010. 9.30am - 12.30pm
Families invited to join Holland St Students on a Mystery Industry Bus Tour.

Karratha Career Expo and Try-a-Trade
Date: June 22nd 2010
Open: 8.00am - 3.00pm
Email: manager@joblink.pilbara.net

Visit our website

Visit our new NDCO website at www.ndcowa.net.au

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