Leading blindness and low vision service provider Vision Australia is set to provide further support to young people living with blindness or low vision to become job-ready with the continued roll-out of a new pre-employment program.
Developed in collaboration with the Empowering Youth Initiative (EYI) the Building Stronger Futures program will begin in Sydney in early November with the aim of equipping young people aged 15-24 with the skills to support them in finding employment.
Belinda Wilson, Vision Australia’s Building Stronger Futures Lead, said the rollout of the program is a positive for the blind and low vision community.
“It’s really exciting to see this program become reality. It’s quite an innovative one and we think it’s definitely going to be something that has a significant benefit for young people who are blind or have low vision,” Belinda said.
“In the past we’ve run other pre-employment programs which have been really successful. Those programs had certain aspects of what the Building Stronger Futures program contains, but none of them have combined all of what Building Stronger Futures does,” she said.
The Sydney installment of the program follows the initial round of the program that was held in Melbourne earlier this year. Further rounds will be held at other Vision Australia locations in the future.
Building Stronger Futures will focus on supporting participants in the key areas of:
- Advice on career pathways and job seeking techniques
- Cover letter and resume writing advice
- Addressing employment issues specific to vision impairment
- Interview skills development and coaching
- Networking and matching your skills to an employer’s needs.
Each round of the program will run for a little over six months. To begin with, each participant will experience a three-week period of face-to-face skills development, followed by a job placement.
“In the first three weeks we’ll be working to improve with the young people on the areas they might need to improve in to become more attractive to potential employers, things like putting together their resume or preparing for an interview,” Belinda said.
“Following that there will be job placement assistance for six months. Along with employment assistance, we’ll be working with the participants to develop and implement the strategies they might need to overcome any challenges they might face in the workplace.”
Applications for the Sydney round of the Building Stronger Futures program are currently open. The program is open to people form the blind and low vision community who are:
- Are between the ages of 15 to 24 inclusive,
- Are not currently in secondary education
- Willing and motivated to gain employment
People are still eligible for the program if they are already involved in Disability Employment Services (DES).
To express your interest in this exciting program, please contact Sean Fielder, Employment Consultant at Sean.Fielder@visionaustralia.org or via 02 9334 3404 or 0417 189 347.
When: Monday 6th November - Friday 24th November, 2017
Where: Vision Australia Enfield, 4 Mitchell Street, Enfield NSW 2136
Time: Classes held from 9am - 3:30pm, Monday - Friday for the 3 weeks.