Nelson first came to BUSY Ability after his parents were searching online and found out about their School Leaver Employment Support program. The NDIS-funded program supports young people living with a disability to transition from school and into independence and a career path.

For Nelson, his dream is to one day become a dessert chef and with that in mind he has worked with his Employment Consultant at BUSY Ability, Lydia, since November last year to prepare him for work and the first step towards realising his dream.

The School Leaver Employment Support program is an individualised program tailored for each participant but also involves group activities that assist with building confidence and other social skills. These include problem solving and team-building activities, as well as budgeting and other life skills for independent living. It aims to build participants’ confidence and prepare them for the workplace and what employers expect.

Nelson said of the program, “It helped me to describe myself (honest, creative and reliable) and how I can be a beneficial employee. They have taught me how to get into another job before I achieve my dream job.”

Lydia at BUSY Ability helped Nelson to secure work as a Room Attendant for The Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort where Nelson has been working for nearly three months, doing the morning shifts for five days a week.

“My dream job is to become a dessert chef and all the different recipes inspire me but now I am doing housekeeping, just to get on the ladder. I get to do all the hospitality house keeping duties. It’s different every day and I do beds, cleaning and laundry”, Nelson stated.

Lydia, Nelson’s Employment Support Planner at BUSY Ability said, “Nelson knew what he wanted to do but he needed assistance in developing social skills and learning how to respond to feedback. He did many one-on-one sessions and group sessions to help prepare him for work.

“The team at his work place love him and he gets along very well! It’s beneficial for him to be in a real work environment where he wants to be long term, getting to know the hospitality industry, as his goal is to become a dessert chef.”

Chief Executive Officer of BUSY Ability, Stacey Turnbull said, “All young people need that initial opportunity to break into the workforce and gain experience. Nelson shows real ambition and I doubt it will be long before we can start sampling his dessert creations! We are really pleased with his progress and how our School Leaver Employment Support program has helped him to kick-start his career path in hospitality. Through the support of inclusive employers like The Sheraton Grand Mirage, they make it possible for young people like Nelson to get a foot in the door.”

For more information on how BUSY Ability can assist school leavers and people with an injury, health issue or disability into work visit www.busyability.org.au

Nelson is on his way to fulfilling his dream to become a dessert chef, thanks to the School Leaver Employment Support program.

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