Great attitude and hard work

Brendan was only part way through his second year at Bankstown NOVA Transition when he was offered a job at the Bankstown Sports Club. His employer, Mark, says that Brendan is a valuable team member who is very focused at work.

Mark says he is proud to have chosen NOVA Employment, and describes both Brendan and another NOVA Transition graduate as great assets to his team: they are both hardworking, take pride in their appearance – wearing their uniforms and name badges correctly – and are able to work around-the-clock shifts.


 A team player who has found his team

‘The change from school to employment is a pretty long path,’ says former Bankstown NOVA Transition trainee Simon. Like most job seekers, he had a few rejections along the way, before landing a job in hospitality at Jamaica Blue. ‘When I found out that I got this job, I was just in complete shock; I was completely speechless!’ he says.

NOVA Transition helped him prepare for the workforce in all sorts of ways, Simon explains. ‘You’re learning all the skills that you need and you’re learning from others as well,’ he says, adding: ‘I learned much more than what I did at school’. (Watch his inspiring graduation speech here.)


Confident, happy, and working

Ken was ‘somewhere between happy and overwhelmed’ when he first heard that he had gained employment at a local cafe as a kitchen hand. He was busy doing work experience and his employer liked him so much that they turned it into a paid position. (Through NOVA, many work-experience placements turn into paid work.)

According to his former teacher, Sophie, when Ken left school two years ago, he lacked self-confidence and had no aspirations about ever having a job. Yet, after his two years at NOVA Transition, Sophie sees a very different man. ‘He seems so happy now,’ she says. ‘We always knew he had it in him, but NOVA helped draw it out.’


Broadening his horizons

Jarad had never considered working in a cafe, so he wasn’t too sure about the idea of a traineeship at Cafe Y. ‘Doing work experience there through NOVA opened him up to it,’ explains his mum, Lexie. ‘Initially he was like “no, no, no”, then once he started work experience, “maybe this isn’t too bad; this is quite good” and now he’s loving it.’


Supported to become confident and mature

Alicia was beginning to despair about not having a job. She had done work experience at several places but, unfortunately, nowhere that had employment available at the time. Then she went for an interview with Crazy Kebabs, and has been there ever since.

‘She came home saying, “I’ve got a job! I start next week and I don’t even have to go for a trial,”’ recalls her mum, Robyn. ‘I was very excited for her. She was really happy. She said, “I really, really like this job, Mum. I’m going to keep this job, Mum. The boss really likes me! I don’t want to work anywhere else, I want to work here.”’


Leading the way

‘My work is fun, exhilarating. Never a dull moment,’ says Lochlan, who now works as a café assistant Michel’s Patisserie.

Being at Rouse Hill NOVA Transition was a good way to learn about work, he says, explaining that his NOVA training and work experience helped him to gain skills in customer service, time management and organisation.

Transition staff supported him to develop the confidence, stamina and flexibility required for working life – and to become comfortable with practical tasks, like catching the bus.


A new life

Ibrahim’s enthusiasm shines through in his new role at Crave Famous Burgers in Bankstown Central. Having completed his training at Hurstville NOVA Transition, Ibrahim had been looking for work for one year before landing the job.

‘He was so happy,’ says him Mum, Aida. ‘He came outside straight away and said, “Mum, this is $40 for you, I want to help you with the rent. I love you, I want to buy many things for you”.’


No turning back!

Thanks to NOVA Transition Engadine, Anthony is on his way to working in the hospitality industry. He has the attention to detail for food preparation and is looking for work in his local area and environs. This is a far cry from the sort of employment a relative suggested he might be eligible for when she first learnt about Anthony’s autism. 'She told my mother, "Never mind they will always need toilet cleaners so don’ t worry"', Anthony said.


Through work experience, Sandy ‘tastes' hospitality

Sandy Freeman never wanted to work in the hospitality industry. As an animal lover, her dream was to be surrounded by dogs and cats. At school, she completed a TVET course in animal care and, after leaving school, a Certificate 2 in Animal Studies.

During Sandy’s time at NOVA Transition Windsor, most of her work experience was, not surprisingly, in the animal care industry. But NOVA staff encouraged her to keep her options open and try some other industries, and when she tasted the hospitality industry, her true skills became evident.


Work, rest and play for Dylan

Dylan is a great example of the shift in circumstance NOVA Transition trainees can experience during the two-year program.

When Dylan arrived at NOVA Transition Caringbah he suffered severe anxiety, had few social connections and was unable to travel independently. Now, not only does he travel independently, he also effectively manages the anxiety.


Rising to the challenge of apprentice chef

Miranda RSL is pleased to have Breannon working as an apprentice chef for 38 hours per week. Her boss Andrew says she’s reliable, hard working and courteous and carries out all the tasks required of her in the kitchen. She also helps waiting staff if they’re busy.


Chloe graduated from NOVA Transition, St Marys in 2015 and soon found a job at her local Red Rooster. She learnt many things through the training and her work experience, but the highlights include leaning to write resumes, understanding customer service and becoming more confident.

Both the staff and customers are friendly at her workplace, and the job she most enjoys is working the cash register. Having a job has changed her life, and the best part about work for Chloe is not so much the money, but that work gives her something to look forward to. She works Thursdays and Fridays.


A sparkle in her eyes 

Being an ex-teacher, Ray was very careful choosing the program most likely to improve his daughter Nadia’s prospects for employment. At NOVA Katoomba, he found trained and passionate staff committed to getting to know Nadia. They also helped her identify, develop and achieve her employment goals through exposing her to plenty of work-experience opportunities. He was ecstatic when she found a job at a local restaurant where she washes up, serves customers and clears tables. She also makes biscuits that have become so popular they’re now being sold in packets, not just given away with coffee! 


The benefits of ongoing support 

Vince’s Mum Gayle says she couldn’t have been happier with their experience of NOVA Transition at St Marys. For the two years of training, Vince bounced out of bed, keen to go! He graduated over six years ago, worked in a plant hire place for more than a year, and then found a job at McDonald’s.

One of Vince’s achievements was knowing that although he enjoyed his first job it didn’t suit him so well because he was lonely. He was able to articulate this and re-engage NOVA Employment to find work in a more sociable environment.


A very employable worker

As a graduate of Richmond NOVA Transition, Trellina was keen to work outside with plants. She quickly got her wish when NOVA found her a job at a lettuce farm. For nearly seven years, she enjoyed her role planting lettuces until the business had to close down. 


A career in hospitality in her home town

Holly’s boss says, ‘Holly’s a lot of fun. She’s hard working and tries hard to pick up new skills.’ Since late 2014, Holly has been working in the camp kitchen, cleaning bedrooms and bathrooms, and generally helping out at the Church Missionary Society (CMS) camp. 

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