The Lighthouse Disability Support Worker Pre-employment program starts in March and includes work experience with Lighthouse Disability and potential employment with the company, which provides supported 24/7 accommodation for disabled people in 30 shared homes across the northern and north-eastern suburbs.
The program will be delivered by Enhance Training in partnership with the Department for Industry and Skill’s WorkReady initiative and Renewal SA’s Works Program.
The immersive program prepares participants for all aspects of disability support. Participants can achieve a Certificate III in Individual Support and receive training in providing an emergency response and manual handling.
This year’s Lighthouse Disability Support Worker Pre-employment program will be the third time the program has been held. Of the 14 participants in the previous program, 10 found full-time employment, including eight people who gained work with Lighthouse Disability.
Renewal SA Acting Chief Executive Mark Devine said Renewal SA was proud to again offer the Lighthouse Disability Support Worker Pre-employment program to people in the northern suburbs and surrounding areas.
“The program is ideal for people looking for work or a change of career,” he said. “It is developed and offered in close partnership with a leading disability support provider and equips participants to work in this growing field by providing them with comprehensive training and work experience.
“The Works Program in northern Adelaide is offered as part of Renewal SA’s Playford Alive urban renewal project to ensure that local communities and individuals benefit from our activities.”
Lighthouse Disability Workforce and Culture Manager Amanda Patterson said the pre-employment course gives people a good grounding in what is expected to work in the sector.
“We have a lot of input into the structure and content of the course,” she said. “We are continually recruiting people to meet the changing needs of our clients, so this partnership is a really positive way for us to help achieve that.
“We work with people who have very complex needs and participants get to meet the clients, so by the time they have finished they have a very good idea of what is expected of them.
“Working in disability support is not just a job, you need to have certain qualities,” Ms Patterson said. “You must have a capacity and willingness to learn, be able to support people but not take over from them and maintain professional boundaries.
Ms Patterson said disability support was a growing area of employment, with thousands of jobs created across Australia by the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
She said she would particularly like to encourage men to consider taking part in the course. “About 65 per cent of our employees are female but more than half our clients are male and many of them request to have a male carer,” she said.
Former finance industry employee Andreas Scherer of Craigmore is one of the previous program graduates who was employed by Lighthouse Disability.
“The program has a great structure and prepared me really well to work in this sector as we got to experience working with people who have both high and low care needs,” he said.
“I would advise people taking part to ask questions, take advice, get involved and learn as much as you can.
“I wanted a new career that would get me away from being stuck in an office in front of a computer screen.
“Working with disabled people has changed my attitude to life and it’s changed my attitude to work. It’s no longer just about chasing the next wage rise, it’s about what you can do for other people,” Mr Scherer said.
“It’s really rewarding to help people live to their potential and it’s great when you get a laugh or a smile.”
Former school teacher Sandra Walter of Parafield Gardens is another graduate of the Lighthouse Disability Support Worker Pre-employment program who has been employed by Lighthouse.
She had been out of the workforce for many years looking after her late disabled son and was looking for a new career that would utilise her background and experience.
“The program is great it has lots of practical components. I enjoyed the whole process and the work placements were excellent – people who started out nervous came back with confidence,” she said.
“I love my job! I look forward to going to work every day, being hands-on and working with people and I don’t mind the shift work.”
Interested persons need to register by Monday 25 February to conduct eligibility and suitability checks for the program.