Joblife’s partnership with Life Without Barriers is yielding dividends for both companies through the introduction of a training course that places job seekers in work placement at LWB sites on the Central Coast.

The Certificate III in Individual Support students have gained first-hand experience working in a number of sites that support people with disability, raising the high prospect of employment upon completion of the course.

LWB Central Coast Operations Manager Disability Services, Colleen Allen, said the course will fill a gap in vacancies for trained disability support workers in the region and gave the job seekers a rich understanding of the needs of people living with disability.

“When David Curtis (Joblife Regional Team Leader) first floated the idea I could see a number of benefits: the opportunity to work closely with Joblife and the opportunity to identify good potential candidates for our sites. There is a lot of competition for support workers in the area and through the course we hope to be able to meet the demand,” Colleen said.

“My role is to act as a communicator between the two companies, identify the locations for work placement and to organise the facilities for training. Our close working relationship with Joblife made the process seamless.

“Feedback from our co-ordinators about the participants has been very positive. We have enjoyed showcasing the work we do in the community and in our Day Program Centres, and trainees have been buddied and nurtured by the LWB staff, providing them with guidance and direction.”

Participants complete the course over a six-month period with two days of face to face training and three days’ work experience. They have been placed in sites such as the Amaroo Day Program, the Watt Street Day Program and the West Gosford Day Program.

David Curtis said the personal growth of the participants since they began the course had been phenomenal.

“Some of our clients suffer from anxiety and depression and have never been given the opportunity to work in such a supportive environment. We are seeing people who were reluctant to leave their rooms now take initiative in their work placements to the point where they are even designing activities and programs for the people in LWB’s care,” he said.

“They are connecting with the disability clients and gaining increasing confidence. The course has really given them a purpose.

“Training job seekers with disability to work with people with disability is a great outcome and shows the community we are serious about bridging the gap.”

Both Colleen and David see the course running repeatedly with possible expansions into other LWB sites.

Pictured left to right: Joan Raper (REACH for Training), Taniesha Evans, Stephanie Kouwenhoven, Alexandra Towns, Kristy Grace, Liam Grace, Joanne Welch, David Robinson, Gregory Brittain, Adele Kelly