Finding a great disability employment service

A disability employment service is there to help you get a job. But are you happy with just any old job? Do you want a job doing something you like? Do you want to work somewhere that you feel valued? Do you want to work as many hours as you are able to?

Different employment services take different approaches to supporting people with a disability. Some will find you a job – any job – as quickly as possible, even if it’s not the right sort of job for you. 

Others will work with you to find out your interests and skills. They will look for jobs that match your needs and the hours you want to work. We know that you are much more likely to find a job that’s right for you with this second approach. And you’re more likely to stay in the job.

So how can you tell which employment service to sign up with?

Hands-on learning at Westmead Hospital

“The best industry visit ever!” was how trainee’s at Penrith NOVA Transition described a recent visit to the cardio unit at Westmead Hospital.

Here at Nova, we believe that experiential learning is critical to our trainees’ success in progressing to employment. It’s a philosophy shared by Tony, a technical officer in the cardio unit, who had some awesome activities for us.

Tony works with electronics and metal in his workshop to make pieces of equipment used in heart surgery. We were expecting him to give us a tour of the vet hospital and show how his work helps the medical staff perform procedures.

Industry visit has Rouse Hill trainees blooming

It was all roses for the Rouse Hill NOVA Transition trainees on a recent industry visit to Flowers for Everyone in the Rouse Hill Town Centre.

Industry visits are just one of the ways that NOVA trainees learn about what's really involved in the world of work. Now we have a much better understanding about careers in floristry – and whether or not that's something we are interested in.

The Manager, Rebecca, and staff member Elizabeth were wonderful and taught us so much about the art of floristry and becoming a florist, as well as budgeting and business.

Camden trainees visit the Sydney Opera House

Last week, our Camden office went on an industry visit to the Sydney Opera House. Here is what one of our trainees, Naomi had to say about the experience:

Let's cook! Life in a commercial kitchen

Getting to know more about the industries we might work in is really important for NOVA Transition trainees. We enjoy having guest speakers from our local area to talk about what happens in their workplace.

At NOVA Windsor we have such a great space and love to share it with other outlets so in February we invited the Rouse Hill and Richmond trainees over to join us in hosting our guest speaker Tracy Housten from Pepe’s Ducks.

Tracy is a chef by trade and has been in food industry for 32 years. She is currently Product and Development Manager for Pepe’s Ducks here in South Windsor. 

Managing money: a valuable industry visit

At NOVA Transition, we learn about life skills as well as workplace issues. The Rouse Hill group made an industry visit to Suncorp Bank Parramatta, for a session on managing money throughout life.

First of all, though, we worked out how to get to Parramatta Westfield and what bus we needed to catch. Then the Suncorp Bank did a presentation to teach us about managing our money.

We learned about setting goals and how to tell the difference between needs and wants. For example, you need a drivers licence for your job; you might want a nice car, but you don’t need it for your job.

Budgeting is important to make sure we spend our money on the right things. Some ideas to help us save money were:

  • not eating out too often
  • having coffee at home
  • catching public transport instead of driving.

Why is initiative important in the workplace?

‘Use your initiative!’

‘Show some initiative … ’

We know employers love employees with initiative, but what does it mean? Well Windsor NOVA Transition has found out and is putting it into practice both in and out of the training room! 

Initiative generally means to do what needs to be done without having to be asked, even if it is not your job. For example, you may not the office cleaner, but if you saw a piece of paper on the floor would you pick it up? If you answer ‘yes’ then you are using your initiative.

Not just a job, an achievable, realistic, sustainable, suitable career

NOVA Transition Liverpool has some bright new stars this year with the drive and ambition to go out and get not just a job but create an achievable, realistic, sustainable, suitable career!

Already in 2017, the first-year trainees have expanded their knowledge and gained confidence to go out into the workforce. We’re learning how to achieve our goals!

So, how do we achieve our goals?

At Nova Transition the job coaches help us gain skills during work experience, for example retail, administration and hospitality; however, we also do work experience in warehousing, trades and care work. When we go to work experience the employer expects us to follow their instructions when doing a task. All trainees must follow safety guidelines and report all hazards to their supervisor.

After work experience we receive employer feedback reports, using the feedback to improve our resumes and add the employer as a referee.

82 young people with disability graduated from Transition to Work

Last year 82 young people with disability graduated from NOVA Transition. We're very proud of them.

Of the 82 graduates, 75 got award-wage employment and seven went on to further education. Nine graduates found apprenticeships and eight were placed into traineeships. Six graduates are working full-time – that's 38 hours per week. For more information on the graduation event, please read here.

NOVA Transition Graduation 2016

On the 7th of December, 2016 we held our annual NOVA Transition Graduation. This event celebrates the achievements of 74 young people living with a disability over their 2 year program. NOVA Transition is an intensive program which has a strong focus on job readiness and employment outcomes. During this time, our participants take part in over 150 hours of work experience, intensive one on one workshops designed to gain employment as well as learning about interview skills, how to design their resume and how to act in the workplace. This is done in conjunction with a nationally recognised qualification being a Certificate 1 in Workplace Education.

The benefits of work experience

At Nova Transition in our first year we are required to do work experience for our vocational 'tasters' which are in retail, administration, hospitality and computers.

Although these are possibly not our ultimate, job choices it has been great to try different things. We also get to choose the type of work experience that we do.

Exciting preparations for the 2016 graduation

There has been a buzz in the training rooms at Nova Transition as the year winds up and the graduation of our hardworking second year participants rapidly approaches.

A graduation is always an exciting time, and here at Nova Transition we always have a lot to celebrate at each year’s ceremony as our cohort of trainees graduate with a Certificate I in Work Education.

Learning from past trainees

Whenever they get the chance, Transition to Work groups love to hear from their graduates – people who have found a job and worked in it for a while, then come back and speak to the current trainees. The group at Penrith recently discussed what they learn from hearing these returning graduates.

Meet Simon

Meet Simon. Simon left NOVA Transition over three years ago when we found him a job at Target in Broadway. Simon is still an employee there and is working over 15 hours a week. Simon always gave 100 per cent in his program and is one of the most hardworking and pleasant young men to come through the program.

Job choices: how to decide if the job is right for you!

Achievable, Realistic, Suitable and Sustainable – or ARSS – is a mechanism used at NOVA to ensure that our transition trainees are going to be suitable for a particular job when they enter the workforce. Anyone can use these points to help to decide whether a job is right for them.

5 ways to be more confident

by the Liverpool Transition to Work group

One of the main reasons why many of us lack confidence is that we waste too many days comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we are not. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when you accept everything you are and are not that you will truly succeed towards your goals.

What is School Leaver Employment Supports?

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out throughout Sydney, the state-funded Transition to Work Program is being gradually transformed into the School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES). The School Leaver Employment Supports is a national program under the NDIS which is in fact based on NOVA's very own Transition to Work Program. The SLES focuses on supporting Year 12 school leavers who are eligible for a post-school program that is based around getting ready for employment. 

10+1 ways to impress an employer

At Windsor NOVA Transition we've been discussing ways to impress an employer. Here's a list of what we came up with. None of it is very hard, but it will make a big difference.

How to write a good resume

The Transition to Work group at Ingleburn have been researching good resume writing. Here's what they found.

Your resume is your most important tool when applying for a job. It doesn’t matter how qualified you are, or how much experience you have, if your resume is poorly presented or badly written you’re going to have trouble getting the job you want, or even an interview.

Music as a source of relaxation

At Nova Transition to Work Hurstville, we've been researching and discussing the benefits of music. Music is an effective way of reducing negative emotions and boosting positive emotions. Listening to music, especially different types of music, has a permanent effect on our minds and bodies. Music helps to reduce the heart rate and blood pressure and also decreases levels of stress hormones. Different types of music assist individuals in different ways. Genres such as hip hop, reggae, rock and roll, jazz, pop and classical music all help to comfort people.

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