Could this be your dream job?

EDGE is seeking a person with qualifications and/or experience in supporting people with disability to assist them in their transition from school into vocational education and training, higher education and/or regular employment. You will be responsible for building on existing relationships with people with disability, families, schools, TAFEs, universities, disability employment services, local area co-ordinators and Partnership Brokers across your allocated region to improve the prospects of successful transition for people with disability. Your area of operation will span the northern half of country Western Australia. You will be required to undertake country travel on a periodic basis.

EDGE will provide in-house training, professional supervision and administrative support. The position is based in our Subiaco office. EDGE employees work a 76 hour fortnight, which they can choose to work over nine days. People with disability are encouraged to apply. Applicants are strongly advised to address the selection criteria.

Further information about this exciting and rewarding position can be obtained from Dr Greg Lewis, Executive Director on 9286 6600 or by visiting our website at www.ndcowa.net.au/regions/north.php - an application package can also be obtained by email (applications@edge.org.au) or from our receptionist Claire on 9286 6600.

Applications for this position close Wednesday 19 September 2012.

Bunbury Future Possibilities Youth Conference

The Bunbury Disabilities Focus Group committee hosted the 2012 Bunbury Future Possibilities Youth Conference on Tuesday 28th August at the All Seasons Sanctuary Golf Resort: the fourth year that this event for young people with disabilities in the region has been held in its current format.

The Bunbury Future Possibilities Youth Conference targets students with learning difficulties, physical, sensory, intellectual and/or psychiatric disabilities, as well as those students who are at risk of not making a successful transition from school into further education/training and employment.

The aim of the Conference was to:

  • Inform students about employment, further education and post school pathways to better prepare them for life after school;
  • Promote the excellence and use of Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETIS) to potential employment and training agencies and higher education organisations; and
  • Create partnerships between students, schools and post school destinations.

The format of the Conference included a variety of interactive workshops and sessions, as well as displays and presentations by disability employment services, community organisations and educational institutions.

In the past the program has been primarily funded through the NDCO program. In the interests of building local sustainability, the the South West Region NDCO (Dale Arthur) worked closely with South West VETlink to source the majority of funding through Lotterywest for this year's event. Other funding came from, National Disability Coordination Officer Program, South West VETlink, Forrest Personnel, South West Development Commission and Regional Development Australia.

For the first time, and thanks to generous sponsorship from BHP Billiton, there was also an evening session for parents. This was held on the same day as the Youth Conference and in the same venue. Some 20 parents attended and heard first-hand from service providers, other parents and employers about their experiences. The parent session also provided the opportunity for parents to engage with agencies in an exhibitor style format. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from this session indicates that this additional part the Bunbury Future Possibilities Youth Conference will need to become part of future programs.

'Wild Witch of the West’ (Amanda Taylor of South West Development Commission) and the 'Stress Master' (Dale Arthur NDCO) conducted an interactive session on managing stress in the workplace. Donna Wroth, Executive Officer of South West VETlink, a ‘prime mover’ of the Conference.

EDGE joins with CCIWA to launch new disability employment initiative

Eagles vice-captain, Beau Waters, was the keynote speaker at a joint EDGE and Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WA) launch of Employ Outside the Box – the Rewards of a Diverse Workforce.

This national initiative argues that it makes good business sense for the Australian business community to consider their options for diversifying their workforce. Employing outside the box is not about businesses acting as charities or taking over government's role in supporting job seekers with disability. Instead it is about businesses meeting their skills and labour needs by engaging people who they may not have previously considered, but who are willing and able to do the job.

Beau Waters appeals to gathered employers to open their minds to employing a more diverse workforce.

Employ Outside the Box is the lead document in a series examining the potential of the Australian working age population to help better meet the skills and labour needs of business and help continue Australia's economic growth. The resource is primarily aimed at business leaders, decision makers and stakeholders and will be complemented followed by a series of guides aimed at businesses, focussing on Australians who represent untapped potential, but who currently sit outside or are marginally attached to the workforce.

This series will highlight the fact that engaging a workforce outside the box does not mean a fundamental rethink of business strategy, nor does it mean additional risk. It does mean taking positive steps to consider a broad range of workforce options for the benefit of each business as well as the Australian economy.

The event was attended by more than 80 employers, disability CEOs and government representatives. One lucky attender won a framed Eagles jumper signed by all the players, courtesy of the West Coast Eagles and EDGE - with Beau on hand to present it to an avowed Eagles supporter!

Employ Outside the Box can be viewed or downloaded at http://acci.asn.au/getattachment/1d9163c5-f634-4126-9e90-ae73d810f1bc/Employ-Outside-the-Box.aspx

EDGE Managing Director, Sue Robertson, EDGE Deputy MD, Patrick Moran and NDCO Program Manager, Dr Greg Lewis, at the launch.

Abilities Careers Expo 2012

The 2012 Abilities Expo is being held on Tuesday 25th September 2012 in the Botanical Rooms at the Burswood Entertainment Complex. Doors will open 9.45am with the official opening at 10.00am by the Hon. Peter Collier, Minister for Education.

Throughout the day there will be career stories presented by young adults and their employers, social skills workshops, and various performances from schools and ability groups. We have many further education, employment and life skill booth holders showcasing what they have to offer our young adults with intellectual and sensory disabilities. The Expo will close at 1.30pm.

Auditors' Forum

Perth NDCO, Alex Murphy, recently presented to an Auditors' Forum organised by the WA Training and Accreditation Council. The presentation focused on improving the participation rate of people with disability in the Vocational Education and Training sector.

Reforms in the VET sector over the past decade have delivered only marginal improvements in VET participation rates for people with disability, who remain the least represented equity group in the VET system. Western Australia has the lowest VET participation rate in Australia at 4.7%, compared to the national average of 6.1% (National Centre for Vocational Education Research, National VET Provider Collection 2010).

Alex used a case study to illustrate how that preconceived ideas and misunderstanding, combined with poor feedback systems, contribute to poor participation rates. He emphasised the need for more training in disability awareness and teaching methodology for lecturers and middle management on the VET system.

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