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Increasing Employment and Career options for young people with a disability. Some things to think about …. In the OECD countries, what percentage of people with disabilities are employed? 20\% 40\% 60\% 80\%. Some things to think about …. 60\% of people with disabilities in OECD countries

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some things to think about
Some things to think about …
  • In the OECD countries, what percentage of people with disabilities are employed?
  • 20%
  • 40%
  • 60%
  • 80%
some things to think about1
Some things to think about …

60% of people with disabilities

in OECD countries

are employed

some things to think about2
Some things to think about …
  • In the top 8 OECD countries, what percentage of people with disabilities are in employment?
  • 40%
  • 50%
  • 70%
  • 90%
some things to think about3
Some things to think about …

70% of people with disabilities

in the top 8 OECD countries

are employed

some things to think about4
Some things to think about …
  • How is Australia doing? What is our record for employing people with disabilities?
  • We are one of the best – in the top third of all OECD countries.
  • Not too bad – somewhere in the middle.
  • We have a terrible record – amongst the lowest of all OECD countries.
some things to think about5
Some things to think about …
  • We have a terrible record –
  • amongst the lowest of all OECD countries.
some statistics
Some Statistics
  • Nearly 20% of Australians of working age have a disability.
  • Only 50% of Australians with a disability are likely to be employed.
  • Australia is ranked 21/29 amongst OECD countries for labour force participation of people with disability.
  • 45% of Australians with a disability live in/near poverty, more than double the OECD average.
  • Only 38% of young people aged 18-24 with disability had completed Year 12, half of those without disability.
  • People with disability are the least represented of all the equity groups in the Australian VET system.
  • Around 2% of apprentices/trainees identify as having a disability.
seamless transition from school to employment
“Seamless transition from school to employment”

“Have we learned enough to expect that the culmination of public education for young people with disabilities should be a job and a clear career path? Can we reasonably expect youth to experience employment in authentic workplaces where they earn a commensurate wage working alongside of co-workers without disabilities? Can we elevate everyone’s expectations accordingly? Can schools craft educational services and curricula that set the stage for such expectations? Based on what the research has shown us and what we know, the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes!”

Dr Richard Luecking

  • Ticket to Work was piloted in 2012 as an Australian School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (ASBAT) program.
  • Ticket to Work created for students intellectual disabilities across two Special Schools (in Melbourne).
  • Developed after scoping research.
  • Underpinned by a Ticket to Work Partnership Network (in local regions) that can work to support optimal student employment, career development and outcomes in areas such as ASBATs, work placement, work experience, other forms of employment.
why ticket to work
Why Ticket to Work?

Research showed:

  • Participation in work experience and employment during secondary school are among the most significant indicators of post-school success for young people with disability.
  • Research also shows that young people with disability who exit school with a job are more likely to maintain a positive career trajectory than those who do not.

Local interest, need and commitment:

  • Identification of youth disability employment and transition need by key pilot partners (schools, government departments and agencies).
  • Positive response and genuine commitment displayed by pilot partner organisations approached.
scoping research
Scoping Research

Conducted in late 2010, four major themes emerged:

  • Participation in meaningful work experience well before a student exits school
  • Partnerships between school, transition programs and local agencies that provide post-school employment and other services were highly predictive of successful transition outcomes.
  • Self determination and career development: including the existence of, and student participation in, preparation of the transition plan.
  • Family involvement in the transition process.
scoping research1
Scoping Research

Research shows that the following can enhance students’ transition and employment outcomes:

  • Critical need for more work-based learning opportunities during a student’s final years of schooling
  • Likelihood of a young person with a disability completing an apprenticeship/traineeship almost on par with those without disability
  • Students with disability in apprenticeship/traineeship have greater rates of completion than those in other VET training – embedded on-the-job training a key reason
  • Supportive intervention strategies important – career counselling, supportive training environment, natural supports, disability diversity recognition, self efficacy, and travel confidence
  • Stakeholder and agency involvement in SBAT (or related employment areas) is critical for success.
scoping research2
Scoping Research

Research shows that the following indicates success in a workplace for students with disability:

  • a strong sense of personal agency and self efficacy;
  • persistence, resilience, self-determination;
  • support from school, family or friends;
  • supportive workplace supervisors, work and learning cultures;
  • a high value placed on work; and,
  • an ongoing commitment to the industry.
scoping research3
Scoping Research
  • One of the obstacle confronting people with disability securing apprenticeships is sourcing a suitable agency that is willing and able to provide the necessary placement and post-placement assistance.
  • Strong link between the labour market aspiration and expectations of the community (including parents and schools) when it comes to young people with disability, and whether such young people take an employment pathway.
ticket to work partnership
Ticket to Work Partnership

Ticket to Work is a partnership-driven program built around organisations sharing common program goals, a willingness to share their differing core competencies and a willingness to collaborate.

Ticket to Work partners commit to a philosophy that every young person with disability is entitled to participate in the community, source appropriate employment and be socially included.

ticket to work goals
Ticket to Work Goals
  • Develop a partnership of organisations all committed to supporting and contributing to the Ticket to Work goals and objectives
  • Place students in sustainable Australian School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (ASBATs), employment opportunities or work place experiences
  • Place students into ASBATs, employment or work experience that most closely align with their career goals / industry interest area
  • Provide a smooth transition from school to an employment pathway
  • Provide students with transferable employability skills
  • Break down the barriers that often prevent young people with disabilities from transitioning into employment
  • Provide support to all key stakeholders (student, parent, employer, school) in a Ticket to Work ASBAT or work experience arrangement.
how it started
How it started?

The pilot region undertook the following activities:

  • Liaised with potential partners to garner interest
  • Held a ‘Stakeholder Network Forum’ to get to know one another, learn about each other’s work and reasons for involvement
  • Held first Ticket to Work Network Meeting
  • Prepared governance documents (Terms of Reference, MoU)
  • Developed branding and marketing materials (name, logo, brochures)
  • Operational planning (ASBAT schedule, roles)
  • Career development with student
  • Parent and student information evenings
  • Student application and interviews
  • Student work experience and work trials
  • ASBAT sign-ups
partner roles
Partner Roles

The pilot region roles included the following:

  • Disability Employment Service (DES) – employment support for student, employer, parents, school, RTO
  • Registered Training Organisation (RTO) – provision of accredited training to students
  • Group Training Organisation (GTO) – sourcing host employers and providing ‘GTO employment’ to the student (if required)
  • Australian Apprenticeship Centre (AAC) – coordinating ASBAT sign-up
  • Workplace Learning Coordinator (WLC) – coordinating work experience
  • Lead Agent – administrative, communications, evaluation

All partners contribute to promotion, seeking employment via networks and strategic development of the model

selection process
Selection Process

Pilot region selection process utilised:

  • Pathways planning with students.
  • Parent / student information session re. Ticket to Work.
  • Applications received (including identification of 3 industry areas).
  • Selection Committee interviews held with students (3 x panel members, 1 x school staff member there as student advocate/support).
  • Students offered ASBAT opportunity (those not selected advised).
  • Parent / student meets individually with school and key partners.
  • Students participate in ‘Pre-Employment Training program’.
  • Work experience arranged in selected industry area.
  • Employers sourced.
  • Sign-ups take place (commencement surveys undertaken).
monitoring process
Monitoring Process

Pilot region monitoring process utilised:

  • Monitoring by DES, GTO, school and others throughout ASBAT, with a clear indication of who take the lead.
  • Regular Ticket To Work Network meetings held (approx. 1 per term or more when we first started).
  • Ongoing liaison between key partners, between meetings.
  • Employer Network opportunities.
  • School liaison with parents (and other partners as required).
pilot student outcomes
Pilot Student Outcomes

2012 / 2013 students in pilot region:

  • 28 students undertook ASBATs in 2012 and 2013.
  • 64% now in continuing open employment.
  • 25% in Year 12 or Year 13.
  • 7% in TAFE.
  • 4% in Futures for Young Adults program.

Employers in pilot region:

  • Mix of sole, mid, multi-national businesses (and non-profit)
  • Industry areas (related to the individual student career aspirations) – business admin, hospitality, horticulture, retail, automotive
partnership member feedback
Partnership Member Feedback

Pilot partnership member feedback:

“The Partnership Network was very successful in building a coalition of diverse organisations with a common commitment to improving youth disability employment outcomes. The regular meetings and the activities helped to ensure that understanding and awareness of various sectors was shared with one another.”

“Regular meetings meant that I was able to build many new relationships and partnerships.”

“Being a partner has enabled me to create links with organisations that I was not aware of”

“I am influencing the decision making of families who support young people with a disability to take up employment pathways.”

“The partnership is a success in getting so many different organisations to sit around a table and for nearly two years.”

pilot student feedback
Pilot Student Feedback
  • 67% of students said …
  • They feel positive about finishing school
  • They felt more confident about finding work in the future
  • They knew who to go to for assistance to find an apprenticeship, traineeship or employment
  • 100% of students said …
  • They feel positive about working in the future
  • They feel more confident about using transport to get to work
  • Their role expanded in the workplace as their confidence and understanding increased
  • Received support in the workplace
  • Would recommend Ticket To Work

The ASBAT helped me physically and mentally.

I’ve learned so much from my employer.

I feel less scared about working.

I’m more confident and

I can talk to clients better.

pilot parent feedback
Pilot Parent Feedback
  • 50% of parents said …
  • They felt very/somewhat confident about their child being employed after leaving school
  • They felt very/somewhat confident that what their child learnt during their ASBAT would benefit them in the future
  • 100% of parents said …
  • Their child seemed more confident about getting along with colleagues
  • They saw improvement in their child’s ability to manage their time, get up for work and cope with a full day of work
  • They had a better understanding of apprenticeships, traineeships and vocational training
  • They would recommend ASBATs to others

I’m thrilled that my son has been offered ongoing permanent part-time employment with his ASBAT employer!

pilot employer feedback
Pilot Employer Feedback
  • All employers saw improvement in their student’s ability to …
  • Get along with others in the workplace
  • Take instructions in the workplace
  • Adhere to workplace practices and policies
  • Adhere to/manage time for set tasks
  • Cope with a full day of work
  • 100% of employers said …
  • They were adequately briefed about their student prior to him/her commencing in the workplace
  • They would consider employing another Ticket To Work ASBAT student
  • The would recommend a Ticket to Work ASBAT to other employers

"Janice added so much to our workplace, not only was she an extra pair of hands, but she encouraged our staff to become mentors.

ticket to work recognition
Ticket to Work Recognition
  • Ticket to Work won the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) ‘Education Excellence – Outstanding Youth Pathways and Transitions Award’ in May 2013.
  • National Disability Employment Initiative (NDEI) federal funding in late 2013 to expand Ticket to Work nationally.
national ticket to work network
National Ticket to Work Network
  • Transferrable, place-based model.
  • Now receiving interest across Australia and has received funding through the National Disability Employment Initiative (NDEI).
  • Networks being established in all Australian states and territories (in April 2014, 40 regions operational or being established).
  • Those who join receive access to all branding, research, operational materials, support – why re-invent the wheel.
  • National website.
  • Collegiate support, wider capacity to advocate, wider research opportunities, stimulate innovation, increase number of students with disability in ASBATs across Victoria / Australia.
national ticket to work network1
National Ticket to Work Network
  • Three criteria to join the National Ticket to Work Network:

1. Students have a recognised disability

2. Ticket to Work must be managed by a local partnership

3. Program reporting and communication required through regular reports, participation in National Ticket to Work Network meetings

national ticket to work purpose
National Ticket to Work Purpose

The purpose of National Ticket to Work Network is to support communities to offer Ticket to Work. It’s role is also to research, design and spotlight the strategies, practice and policies that produce optimal employment and career achievement for young people with disability in their transition from school.

national learnings
National learnings
  • Positive feedback from students, employers, parents.
  • Finding employers can be challenging but is possible.
  • Using professional and personal networks to source employers is valuable.
  • Not every ASBAT is a success, but all are provide good learnings.
  • Each ASBAT needs to be individualised to suit the student and the employer.
  • Post-ASBAT employment may not be immediate, may take a couple of years but all the personal and employability skills developed during the ASBAT are invaluable for the student.
  • Discussion about careers with students needs to happen earlier.
  • Preparation of students and parents earlier is critical.
  • Take risks and have high expectations of participants.
information on ticket to work
Information on Ticket to Work

Ticket to Work webpages:



Michelle Wakeford Fiona Waugh

Ticket to Work Bayside Glen Eira Kingston LLEN (BGK LLEN)

E: [email protected] E: [email protected]

P: 03 9584 8845 P: 03 9584 8845

M: 0413 750 745


The greatest barrier facing people with a disability is not their disability but confronting negative attitudes, overcoming outdated stereotypes and challenging the limitations placed on them by others.

What they lack is not ability but opportunity

Adapted from Submission to Shut Out: The Experience of People with Disabilities and their Families in Australia