14 January 2022

Life Without Barriers and JobLife Employment support young people with disability to find work.

Jayden wearing a Coles red polo and yellow high-vis vest.

Like most young people leaving school, Jayden was eager to score his first job and start to earn his own money. This goal is significant for any young person, but it is especially so for 19-year-old Jayden who is Autistic and has Kyphosis (curvature of the spine).

After struggling to find any type of work, Jayden and his family were referred to, Young People’s Employment Pathways (YPEP), a new program offered by Life Without Barriers and JobLife Employment that supports young people with disability to find work. With their support, Jayden now has a job!

Image: Jayden collecting trolleys for Coles.

Allison is a consultant for YPEP in Western Australia and has supported Jayden throughout his journey. In addition to assisting him with any new learning requirements to stay up to date in his role, Allison checks in to make sure that Jayden is meeting the employer’s expectations, assisting to increase productivity and efficiency.

Other supports include identifying potential barriers in regard to his specific support needs and providing emotional guidance and counselling.

“Jayden is great at his job! He sometimes requires support understanding procedures or changes at work. My role is to help him understand, explain why it is necessary and how to adapt,” says Allison.

Allison remembers the day she first met Jayden and his father, to register him for the program.

“Jayden was a little shy, but he soon came out of his shell the more we spoke,” she said.

“He stated he liked fishing, camping, gardening and any work as long as it didn’t involve dealing with lots of people.”

There were a few false starts and Allison was searching for other opportunities, when a colleague suggested she get touch with the Coles Inclusion Team.

The Coles Inclusion Team filter through streams of job applications, looking for jobseekers that have special needs. Allison quickly got in touch with the Team Leader and sent off Jayden’s Resume.

“Within a week I received a phone call to see if Jayden could come in for an interview for a trolley collecting job at Coles, said Allison.

Allison immediately contacted Jayden, explained some of the duties and asked if he would be willing to do this type of work. “YES!" was the answer.

On the day of the interview, Allison arranged to meet Jayden and his father at the store.

“We were both very nervous, but excited at the same time,” said Allison.

“In the interview, Jayden answered all the questions brilliantly."

"As I sat there listening, I felt my eyes welling up with tears as I was so proud of his effort.”

Image: Jayden with Allison.

Allison was also there to offer on the job support during his induction and training, which he sailed through with flying colours and was asked to start work the next day.

On the way home that evening, they picked up take away and chatted what he would do with his pay. Jayden said he would pay Mum and Dad some board, explaining that it cost an average of a Million dollars to bring up a child. He was also keen to upgrade his mobile phone to one which takes photos.

Since Jayden started his job eight months ago, his confidence has grown, he has made new friends and feels that he is has started a new journey in life.

Well done Jayden!

Image: Jayden with his new Coles supervisor.

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