For young adults like Zak, the transition from school into the workforce can be daunting. It can be especially challenging for those who are unsure what career path to pursue, and for people with disability who may not have had the opportunity for work experience. With the right guidance and support, individuals with disabilities can overcome these challenges and find meaningful employment that aligns with their interests and abilities.
Following a presentation at his high school on the programs Mylestones offer students transition from study to work, Zak felt this avenue appealed to him. “Mylestones Intake Officer Rachel made some strong points that I related to” said Zak of the school presentation.
Zak approached Mylestones to help support him find a fulfilling job. Mylestones Job Development Officer (JDO) Joshua and Zak sat together and discussed various possibilities at their first meeting. Zak had a passion for trades, and realising his potential, the team at Mylestones presented Zak with a chance to participate in a 20-week traineeship through Brisbane Training Centre (BTC) that would equip him with the essential skills and certifications. By enrolling in the program, Zak received a White Card which authorised him to work on construction sites, and a Certificate One in construction. These achievements allowed Zak to move forward with his professional aspirations.
However, Zak’s journey was not without challenges. The traineeship was located a significant a distance from Zak’s home, and public transport was limited. Undeterred, JDO Josh stepped in to provide daily transport to and from the traineeship, which ensured Zak was able to fully participate in this experience.
Due to his disability, Zak faced further challenges throughout the course of the traineeship. However, his determination, and the support of JDO Josh shone through by workshopping a Personalised Plan for Success (PPS) to help address these challenges. Josh and Zak focused on the theoretical aspects of the program to accommodate Zak’s learning style. Zak mastered the more manual aspects of the training, including high-pressure cleaning, sanding, painting and fencing, with guidance from a dedicated training supervisor.
As the traineeship neared its conclusion, Zak was inspired to pursue a mechanical apprenticeship. However, he needed to overcome a significant hurdle for that position and a prerequisite for many other such positions – his lack of a driver’s licence. Understanding the importance of this prerequisite for future employment goals, JDO Josh incorporated this into Zak’s PPS, which included diligently practicing for the learner’s test. The result meant Zak was well-prepared for the official learner’s examination and passed the test on his first attempt.
“I felt confident going into the exam due to my weekly practise. When I passed the exam, I was really happy and couldn’t wait to tell my dad” Zak said of his accomplishment, filled with pride.
With newfound confidence, Zak set his sights on a mechanical apprenticeship, but as he was still working towards his driver’s license, JDO Josh’s creative approach kicked in and he suggested Zak start out in the field of Tyre Fitting. This role offered a solid foundation and potential pathway for his future career aspirations. JDO Josh set up an interview for Zak, and despite initial hesitations, the employer agreed to a work trial after witnessing Zak’s determination and willingness to excel. After Zak exceed all expectations during the work trial, the employer offered him a permanent position.
Career-wise, Zak is working on mastering the art of tyre fitting with his employer.
“I am being trained in Tyre Fitting and I cannot wait to finish,” said Zak who’s dreams of becoming a mechanic seem closer than ever thanks to the support of Mylestones. Today, Zak is celebrating a remarkable achievement: the completion of over six months of steady employment.
With the support of Mylestones, Zak has overcome challenges, broken down barriers and is on the pathway to achieving his goal. His experience is a testament to the power of determination and the difference the right support in the workplace can make to people with disabilities.