Paid Work Experience Trials prove positive

Mark Murray undertook Paid Work Experience with My Pathway Disability Supports in Doomadgee, here he poses with some of the participants on an outing from the community.

With our Paid Work Experience Program trials finishing in line with the financial year, we were able to take stock of the variety of businesses in different industries that took part. Across industries, the trial has allowed hundreds of job seekers to address barriers. Developing new and varied skill sets while working a real role and earning additional income.

A small showcase of some of the images, coverage and feedback received during the course of the trials.

The trial has enabled local businesses to host a job seeker for up to 13 weeks of paid part-time work experience, with the participant’s wages paid by My Pathway. Businesses in all three regions the trial was run eagerly took part with almost 60 new businesses joining the program to offer more than 110 placements. In the Cook region participants worked with conservation groups and in agricultural businesses including a fish farm, as well as retail and administration roles. In the Western Cape the businesses involved ranged from childcare to construction and they were equally as varied in Doomadgee.

The ease of trying a career or type of work that was very different to the roles participants had ever previously held, or even thought they would ever take up, emerged as one of the great strengths of the trial. This was especially true for men trying their hands at support work in the Disability sector. Two men from Doomadgee and three from the Cook Region undertook their placement with My Pathway Disability supports, and despite all telling us they had not considered support work before the trial, found it to be a rewarding and gratifying role.

“I have always had an interest in helping others, so when they suggested I try a support worker role it seemed ideal,” Ken told us.
“I’m passionate about working with my Elders and have found this experience to be very rewarding.”

Ken’s sentiments are backed up by the other participants in the trial, with more than 90% of all participants surveyed at completion agreeing that it has been a positive change in the Community Development Programme (CDP).

“This is the best system yet for CDP participants and everyone should get involved” Cow Bay participant Richard said as he wrapped up his time in the trial labouring with a local building company.

Other participants agreed that it had successfully helped them build the skills and work history to improve their employment opportunities. Our data shows the trial helped more than 280 job seekers to address some form of barrier preventing them from working.

“The trial was the perfect way to build the skills and experience I needed” Mark from Doomadgee said. Loncey told us “It got me into a work environment, learning new skills and interacting with others. And I was getting paid on top of my Centrelink!”

Almost 95% of participants also told us they would not hesitate to recommend the trial to others. “I’m telling everyone I know in Doomadgee to go and see the team about this program!” Mark finished.

The success of the trial has led to a modified paid work trial being developed for the coming months featuring even more realistic work conditions but retaining the ease and simplicity of the trial. Participants will now be able to undertake paid work experience for up to 32 hours a week, as well as over longer terms for some employers. This will create more meaningful employment for participants and allow businesses to fully develop a local workforce for available roles. Contact your closest My Pathway or joint venture office for more details.