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New program to support young people find employment

02 August 2017

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 roll-out of a new pre-employment program.

Developed in collaboration with the Empowering Youth Initiative (EYI) the Building Stronger Futures program will begin later this year 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.

Image shows a spanner next to the words job search
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.

The first installment of the program will commence in Melbourne in September, following that the program will then be rolled out across nationwide.

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 Melbourne 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 Belinda Wilson at Belinda.wilson@visionaustralia.org or via 03 8378 1223.

Please advise your state and suburb when making contact.

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