Case Study Pilot Traineeship Program for People with Intellectual Disability

In February 2011, Senator Jan McLucas and then Secretary Jeff Harmer presented certificates to participants in the Pilot Traineeship Program for People with Intellectual Disability

In February 2011, Senator Jan McLucas and then Secretary Jeff Harmer presented certificates to participants in the Pilot Traineeship Program for People with Intellectual Disability

FaHCSIA has long recognised the need to provide more employment opportunities for intellectually disabled people. In 2009, it implemented the Pilot Traineeship Program for People with Intellectual Disability. The program’s objectives included increased employment of an under-represented disability group and providing gradual transition from the learning environment to the workplace.

Five trainees participated in the 18-month program which provided them with on-the-job training in the Department, as well as support in completing a Certificate II in Business Administration qualification with a registered training organisation.

By August 2011, all five trainees had successfully completed the program and commenced ongoing employment in the Department.

In discussing the program experience, one trainee said, ‘My attitudes and experiences have changed – I’ve become more respectful of other people. I’ve become more like a public servant, more work focused and more considerate of others. I now want a job in the public service.’

Another trainee felt more confident about the future. ‘I’ve become more independent and I now have something to look forward to.’

Every participating branch reported that having a trainee was extremely positive and that the benefits outweighed the challenges. Many staff had benefited both personally and professionally from the experience.

The success of the program was due to strong support from senior FaHCSIA executives and the Diversity Team, as well as the dedication of the trainees’ managers. Another important factor was the strong partnerships between FaHCSIA and external providers.

Another of the program’s objectives was enhancement of FaHCSIA as an employer of choice for people with disability. The Department’s success in this area is demonstrated by the attitude of its trainees. One has said ‘This is a really good job and I really like it. I like the people. I’d recommend FaHCSIA to someone else.’

FaHCSIA acknowledges and thanks all the individuals and organisations that assisted the Department with the program. It is proud to be the first APS agency to implement a traineeship program for people with intellectual disability. Another program is expected to commence in 2012.

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