Spectrum Australia (Aspect) has been awarded $300,000 in funding from the Greater Charitable Foundation to provide
specialised autism-specific support for its high school students looking to
transition from school to employment in the Hunter, NSW region.
Aspect Hunter School will establish a Work Education and Employment Skills Program to provide pre-employment assessment and employability skills development training that will prepare students for life beyond their schooling years.
The program will be conducted at the main campus in Thornton and various satellite classes throughout the Hunter region. A dedicated work education teacher will coordinate and manage all related activities, such as interview skill training, job searches, work experience days, visiting career expos and completing certified courses that meet the strengths and interests of the students.
The program will also include social interaction and communication, teamwork, preparing a strong resumé and job application, budgeting, presentation skills, as well as traveling to an interview and coping with unfamiliar environments or unpredictable situations.
Aspect Hunter School Principal Lara Cheney states: “The program aims to advise students on the different roles and job opportunities that are available by assisting them in exploring career pathways. We’re thrilled to have the support and funding from Greater Charitable Foundation to enhance the quality of life and financial independence for our students.”
According to Aspect’s We Belong Too research, 62% of parents with a child on the spectrum said having a job is very important to their son or daughter and 55% of adolescents on the autism spectrum expect to need support when finding a job.
Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Anne Long, said that she was delighted to be partnering with Aspect and supporting the program which will make a long-term impact on the lives of those people they support.
“We have supported Aspect in the past and have long been impressed with the work they undertake to support young and often vulnerable members of our community,” Ms Long said.
“This program also supports our new funding strategy of improving the skills and knowledge in order to strengthen the overall financial wellbeing of participants through their transition program that will provide students living with autism the best possible opportunity to gain meaningful employment beyond their schooling years.”