Julian loves basketball and with the support of Ticket to Work has scored himself a job at Nunawading Basketball Stadium – a dream his family thought would never be a reality.
As a year 11 student with Down syndrome, Julian wanted the same rite of passage as his peers – the chance to have an after-school job. Thanks to funding from the Andrews Government, the Ian Potter Foundation and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Julian is just one of 40 Victorian students with disability who will have the opportunity to participate in after-school work.
Across Australia there is an unacceptably high rate of unemployment for people with disability – and it’s not for lack of desire.
NDS Chief Executive Dr Ken Baker said: “Many people with disability want to work, but too often they face barriers – like physical access and attitudes – and can feel locked out from jobs. If they are discouraged from engaging with the world of work when young, they are more likely to be dependent on welfare over the long-term. Ticket to Work shows us that with the right encouragement and support young people with disability can thrive in employment. Boosting employment opportunities for people with disability must be a priority for governments.”
Since Julian has started his job he’s gone from strength to strength. Manager at the Nunawading Basketball Stadium’s canteen, Catriona Vargas, calls him an asset to their business. “Julian is great, he is eager, enthusiastic and gives his full attention to any task he is asked to do. I have enjoyed seeing his progress over the time he has worked for us and am especially pleased with his mastery of coffee.” She said.
Ticket to Work links schools, employment services and employers to young jobseekers with disability allowing them to focus on their employment dreams in a safe and supportive environment.
Since its inception more than 1,000 young people with disability across Australia have found work.
Katherine Delbridge, Director of Communications, National Disability Services (NDS) 02 9256 3168, [email protected], www.tickettowork.org.au —