Ticket to Work expands into NDIS sites thanks to philanthropic support

NDS is excited to announce that the Ticket to Work program is expanding into a number of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) sites. The growth of Ticket to Work will enable it to continue to create employment opportunities for young people with disability in Australia. Ticket to Work has been hosted by NDS since early 2015.

The expansion of Ticket to Work is made possible thanks to two philanthropic foundations, Gandel Foundation and Barr Family Foundation. Together, they are supporting the establishment of four Ticket to Work Networks over the next three years in Geelong, Tasmania and Canberra.

About Ticket to Work
The National Ticket to Work was set up in 2013 after a successful pilot project. The initiative builds local networks made up of organisations such as schools, youth services and employment agencies which help young people with disability transition from school to work.

Since early 2014, 25 local Ticket to Work networks have been established and seen great success among young people. Highlights include:
– 900 students starting work experience and work preparation activities;
– 450+ young people starting an apprenticeship or traineeship; and
– 92 per cent of trainees/apprentices have completed or are still completing their apprenticeship/traineeship.

Gandel Foundation CEO, Vedran Drakulic stated “Giving young people with disability a chance to live fulfilling lives is critically important. We are pleased to be able to support an initiative that is making a real and tangible difference. Ticket to Work creates genuine opportunities that have the potential to serve young people well for the rest of their lives”.

Why it works
The Ticket to Work model is based in evidence which proves that:
– if students with disability explore work during school they are much more likely to have career post-school;
– the challenge of preparing young people with disability for open employment requires collaboration between different sectors and programs; and
– positive post-school transition can be facilitated through flexible and responsive approaches.

“Through Ticket to Work, I now know that my daughter will be able to move into full-time engaging employment [from school], that she will feel that she is worth something and be able to give to the community. Because my daughter has an intellectual disability, many have told me not to have high expectations [in regards to work]. Seeing her succeed in her traineeship through Ticket Work is a huge relief to me and has given us all hope that her future is indeed bright.”
– Lauren, mum of Ticket to Work participant.

National Ticket to Work Manager Michelle Wakeford added, “We anticipate that through running Ticket to Work in an NDIS environment, we can demonstrate what can be achieved when young people with disability are prepared and supported for the working world. Our aim is that, all young people with disability in Australia will have the opportunity to follow their aspirations.”

Barr Family Trust Chairman Michael Barr stated; “it’s clear we need to do a better job of preparing young people with disability for a life of employment, rather than a life of government support. We are pleased to be able to support Ticket to Work as it is able to create employment pathways for kids who have in the past done so poorly in accessing the labour market”.

For more information on Ticket to Work, including the evaluation of the initiative, see www.tickettowork.org.au

Michelle Wakeford, National Manager Ticket to Work – 0413 750 745 michelle@tickettowork.org.au