Association for Competitive Employment WA (ACEWA) Training Seminar

Towards the end of 2012, ACEWA hosted a training seminar at Tomkins on Swan for Disability Employment Services staff. The training seminar replaced the Working in the West Conference for 2012. The two training workshops held were identified from the training needs evaluation carried out earlier in the year.

In the morning Margaret Potter, who has worked closely with many organisations in the WA disability sector providing education and support, presented "From Marking Time to Making a Mark! Building Motivation for Change."

The workshop aimed to enable participants to:

  • Identify how to approach a range of difficult motivation issues
  • Outline the stages of a change model and use it as a guide to build and support motivation
  • Identify and implement a number of different motivational approaches
  • Recognise key communication strategies and communication roadblocks
Trevor Paterson, Chair of ACEWA, opening the Training Seminar. Bridie Kingswood (left) with her Manager, Sheryl Liddicoat from Career Contact in Kalgoorlie, was a finalist in the DES Employee of the Year awards.
Evaluation feedback was very positive with comments noting that the session was engaging, interactive, relevant and encouraging.

In the afternoon Ron Gibson, Managing Director of his own successful company Go Networking, presented on how to generate new business consistently and more often without being pushy. His session was titled "Marketing and Selling Skills Helping Overcome The #1 Business Challenge....... Marketing and Selling to Win New Business."

Ron covered the following areas in his very informative and valuable presentation:

  • How to go about building a pipeline of business leads and opportunities
  • Referrals: How to make them happen with regularity
  • Increasing your ability to set appointments with your ideal prospects
  • Managing effective sales conversations with prospects and clients
  • Building the layers of trust needed for successful business relationships
  • Knowing when and how to "close the sale"
  • Approaching your sales and marketing efforts in a systematic way
  • Finding the time to prospect, market and sell

Evaluation feedback noted that the session "reinforced strategies and presented innovative methods of building sustaining relationships."

Introducing the New NDCO for Northern WA (Region 28)

Richard Godfrey has worked at EDGE Employment Solutions in Subiaco for eight years, the past four as a team leader in job support. Prior to joining EDGE, Richard worked in disability employment and training in North Queensland. Before this he served for 13 years in the Australian Defence Force, including time in the UK and in Malaysia. Thus, Richard brings a wide range of experience and a broad knowledge of disability services, experience in regional and remote communities and management/supervision/training skills to the position.

Abilities Careers EXPO 2012 at Crown Perth

Lewis Bennett presenting his career story: a traineeship in Business Administration at the University of WA. Supporting Lewis is Jenny Fuller of EDGE Employment Solutions' Supported Work Experience and Training (SWEAT) program.
This was the second year that the Abilities Careers EXPO was held at the Crown Perth, however, the location within the venue was changed from the Astral room to the Botanical rooms.

Career story presentations by students and former students were hosted along with creative activity workshops. Booth holders at the Expo represented a wide variety of service providers with disability expertise in employment, apprenticeships, traineeships, post secondary study, recreational activities, personal services, advocacy, government assistance and transport.

The career stories were well attended by students, parents and teachers. The stories demonstrated the value of planning your transition from school to further study and/or employment.

Booth holders were inundated with enquiries and the Botanical rooms struggled to cope with the numbers. Booth holders rated the location of the 2012 Expo lower than the location in 2011, though overall the 2012 Abilities Careers EXPO was rated higher than the previous year, with higher levels of satisfaction in 2012 across the three key questions:

  • Were the attendees the right level of decision makers for your product or service?
  • Did any students/parents register for follow up with your organisation?
  • Did the Expo meet your objectives/expectations?

A number of comments reflected this higher level of satisfaction, i.e. "More contact with parents this year, the break out sessions and the venue." "Meeting the public family students – networking." "The amount of people through the Expo who were genuinely interested."

Employing People with Disabilities – An Employer's Guide for the Manjimup/Bridgetown Region

Discussion between the NDCO and the Manjimup Transition Pathways Group revealed a consensus that local employers were generally unaware of the benefits of employing people with disability. In an attempt to meet this knowledge gap, the group commenced working on a localised booklet that would assist employers toward a better understanding of the process and possibility of employing people with disability. Contributions were collected from the various agencies/group members and the booklet was prepared.

Included in the booklet were sections on: frequently asked questions, Work Health and Safety, success stories from the employer's perspective, contact details of local supporting agencies, and information on government funding assistance.

Distribution was done in liaison with the Manjimup Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Centre. Students at the Manjimup Education Support Centre stamped and addressed the packaged booklets ready to be posted to the employers in the region.

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