Great attitude and hard work leads to job

Brendan was only part way through his second year at Bankstown NOVA Transition when he was offered a job. His Job Coach, Paul, describes Brendan as someone who works hard and is always willing to try new challenges and learn new skills.

Last year, Brendan completed  Barringtons courses in Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG). This enabled him to do a work placement at Bankstown Sports Club. After four weeks, his employer was so impressed with Brendan’s enthusiasm, willingness to work hard, and ability to follow instructions and ask for help that he offered him a job.

We focus on ability!

What makes NOVA Employment the best disability employment service in the country? We focus on the ability of people with disability. This is the best way to learn about job seekers' interests and skills and match these to appropriate, award-wage work. 

You may not know that NOVA is the main sponsor for the Focus On Ability Film (FOA) Festival – an international short-film competition with the theme: focus on the ability of people with disability. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! 

Meet Andrew: Employment Consultant

NOVA Employment Consultants (ECs) are important in helping NOVA Transition trainees to get our first job. They start getting to know us at the end of our first year at NOVA so they can better understand our skills and abilities and what jobs we’re interested in. We thought it might be fun to get to know them better too! So we interviewed EC Andrew Abrahams from NOVA’s Campbelltown office.

Trainees: What is the role of an employment consultant?

Andrew: To help people find and keep long term employment.

Workplace diversity is good for productivity

Diversity in the workplace is good for all of us, because we learn about other values, foods, cultures and the many different ways people choose to live their lives.

Diversity is also good for workplaces. NOVA’s CEO, Martin Wren, explains why here.

Did you read it? It’s a long list!

Childcare - a dream job for three graduates

For three NOVA Transition graduates, their dreams of working in childcare have come true.

In choosing their preferred work area, Tayla, Danielle and Michaela all knew they wanted to work with people, and were keen on childcare. But identifying their career goal was only the first step. It took determination, persistence and hard work for each of the girls to find employment – and support from NOVA every step of the way.

What's my scene?

So you want a job, but you’re not quite sure what sort of work is the right ‘fit’ for you? Rest assured, you’re not alone! At NOVA Transition we provide loads of opportunities to learn about industries and try out different jobs through work experience.

But you can begin to explore what's best for you right away. There are plenty of online tools available to help guide you. NOVA’s own Let’s Get Working website suggests 10 questions to ask yourself, and the first few make an ideal starting point.

What does this button do?

Would you know how to sew on a button? And what does that have to do with getting a job anyway? 

While skills for independent living are important in finding and keeping a great job, learning to sew on a button might, in fact, have more to do with becoming employed than you'd think. 

When Bankstown NOVA Transition trainee Talia lost a button on her jacket, the group used the opportunity to do a sewing class. Together they bought a sewing kit from Lincraft, and Job coach Paul brought fabric from home to practise with.

Personal wellbeing: it's a balancing act

Health and wellbeing: it’s something we tend to reflect on at this time as we take a break from the hustle and bustle of the year.

Our wellbeing impacts everything we do, which is one reason why looking after ourselves is a focus at NOVA Transition – not just now, but right through the year. At Katoomba NOVA Transition, we explored why it’s important to maintain good health and wellbeing.

Loving learning at Livvi's

NOVA Transition has a big focus on high-quality work experience that provides our trainees with a taste of the working world and the skills needed to thrive in it.

Livvi's Cafe in Elara Estate is one of the fantastic businesses Rouse Hill Nova Transition has partnered with. Owners Brendon and Debbie have been teaching us some valuable skills about food hygiene, customer service and hospitality.

The cafe is part of the Touched by Olivia Foundation and a percentage of each coffee sold goes towards helping to build inclusive play equipment for children with disabilities. ‘Our reason for existence is to help the Touched by Olivia Foundation build inclusive play spaces,’ says Brendon. ‘We also have a goal to help young people with disabilities transition into open employment.’ 

The best day of my life!

More than one graduate of NOVA Transition nominated last Wednesday - graduation day - as the best day of their life! And it’s not hard to see why.

It was a day of pure celebration for the graduates of 2017 attending a three-course lunch with live entertainment, awards and dancing at the Catholic Club in Campbelltown.

We celebrated more than 80 young people with disability graduating from NOVA’s two-year transition-to-work program and gaining their Certificate 1 in Work Education. (See previous blogs for more details of some lessons learned during the training, including work-ready skills, such as goal setting, resume writing and interview practice, and life skills, like healthy eating, healthy mind and travel training.)

A fair go

Just imagine: you’ve landed a job, you’re starting to earn money, maybe you’ve even moved into your own place – life is sweet! And then…

…you accidentally spend the rent money; or you lose money through a scam, or you’re not being treated fairly at work.

Luckily, there are ways to avoid these situations, or minimise the damage if they arise. To find out how, Hornsby NOVA Transition hosted Windsor, Rouse Hill and Blacktown outlets for some interactive sessions with Arienne Bourne from Fair Trading NSW.

Lights, camera, action!

Industry visit to ABC Studios and Media Production

At NOVA Transition, we research industries and learn about different job types experientially – by seeing and feeling what it’s like. We learn through exploring in fun, engaging way. So when Liverpool Transition trainees were presented with an opportunity to tour ABC Studios and Media Production they jumped at the opportunity.

The day was planned from beginning to end (all part of our learning here in Liverpool). We read the tour rules, found out how to get there and mapped out our way to Ultimo. We even appointed our cameraman for the day: Jordan, one of our trainees who is keen to explore photography and social media as one of his job choices.

Having a ball in Windsor

Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some but certainly not for the trainees of Windsor, Richmond, Blacktown, Rouse Hill, Parramatta and Hornsby who were treated to a professional coaching clinic at Windsor tennis courts.

It was the most beautiful spring day and we all made sure we had sunscreen, hats and water bottles. We knew we were in for a day of fun when our coaches, Tony and Arvind arrived with a boot packed with racquets, balls, nets, hula-hoops and a BBQ! Between them, Tony and Arvind have 42 years of coaching experience and were recently awarded Tennis NSW’s Coaching Excellence Award: we were in good hands.

For young people with disability, being able to take part in social activities, access local facilities and maintain a healthy lifestyle is key to long term independence and wellbeing. It's one of the reasons that NOVA is passionate about promoting inclusiveness. Tennis is a terrific way to tick each of those boxes.  

Getting technical at the Microsoft store

Learning about technology is an important component of NOVA Transition training. But at Richmond and Windsor NOVA Transition, we learned about much more than technology on a recent industry visit to the Microsoft Flagship Store.

Before we even began to look at Microsoft products, we practised our travel training to get into the city, and then had to negotiate the hustle and bustle of Pitt Street Mall.

When we arrived at the store we were given a card on a lanyard with activities to explore the different products. As we moved around the store, we tried:

The sweet taste of success

The path to employment can feel like a long road. But that makes the taste of success all the sweeter when you reach your goal.

Three young men – Pissett, Lochlan and Hayden – are now enjoying life in the workforce following their NOVA Transition training. In fact, NOVA Transition gave them a big leg up on the journey to employment. Lochlan says he developed good skills in customer-service, time management and organisation through NOVA training and work experience; while Hayden says that NOVA also helped him to learn how to live more independently.

Getting the heads up on mental health

Award-winning singer-songwriter Lucy Neville, 21, has experienced the stigma and discrimination associated with having a mental illness.

But the Beyond Blue volunteer guest speaker had some positive messages about dealing with anxiety when she visited Windsor NOVA Transition recently.

Anxiety had been part of Lucy’s life from the age of 13. She would assume the worst of every situation. She would avoid social situations, and was often crippled with feelings of paranoia and panic if forced to catch public transport or meet new people.

Why I come to NOVA Transition

If you're going to spend three days per week for two years at NOVA Transition, you want it to be worthwhile, right? 

It certainly has been for the many former trainees who are now employed – read some of their stories here

For Danika, a trainee at Rockdale NOVA Transition, there are plenty of reasons to show up each day: 

'I come to NOVA Transition because there are people who help and support me on my journey to find a job I’m interested in.

Another happy parent

Imagine being the parent of three taxpayers.

Kathy Sammut never imagined this would be her life. She recalls that when her children, Anthony, Michelle and Matthew, finished school, she and her husband would say, ‘They’re going to be home all the time, and they’re not going to see the world out there’.

But all three have found work through NOVA Transition Liverpool.

Focus on Ability Film Festival 2017

NOVA Employment’s Focus on Ability Short Film Festival 2017 is almost upon us. It’s been called ‘the most inclusive film festival in the world’ and we love it.

Inclusive because of its theme, because it’s open to everybody, and because there are no entry fees. Plus there are so many ways you can participate: by making films, watching them online (and voting for your favourites), or organising a festival event or screening in your community.

So here’s a timely reminder: entries close on 30 June. Your film must be no longer than five minutes (not including credits) and must be about the ability of people with a disability. We’ll upload all eligible entries to the website on 25 July, and voting will then be open until 7 August.

Let's get working

Let’s be honest: there’s a lot to getting a job. Before you can walk in that door as an employee, you’ll need to:

  • figure out what sort of job will suit you
  • get some training (unless you are already able to do the job)
  • apply for positions – this might be by:
    • responding to an advertisement
    • talking with people about what work they have available
  • write resumes and cover letters
  • convince an interviewer that you’re the person for the job.

Phew! It can be a tough gig. NOVA Transition is here to support you along the path to employment. A valuable resource is NOVA Employment’s Let’s Get Working website, which is packed with practical tips and advice for job seekers.

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