Jewish Care Learn Explore Discover Program 2015Community organisation Jewish Care is launching an employment program for people with disability in March. The program is being delivered by Jewish Care’s Employment and Education Centre in Melbourne as a Learn Local pre-accredited course.  Funded by the State Department of Education,  there are at least two intakes scheduled for the year.

The focus for students in the first intake in the Pathways to Employment program for 2016 will be on developing participant and social skills to assist with gaining employment and interaction in the workplace.  It also aims to increase students’ confidence and help expand their networks in the community.

A spokesperson for Jewish Care told F2L that some of the nine students who graduated in December from the inaugural program already had a job and were looking to increase their hours with others moving into job search or further training. One of the graduates, Alasdair Clark, has spoken enthusiastically about the program. “I found out how to prepare a resume, and cover letter, get a job and how to test my data entry skills.” As a result his social skills have improved which has helped him to communicate with his housemates, he said.

Jewish Disability Services manager, Dan Kisumbi said the core focus of working to support people with disability is to promote and encourage their full social and economic participation in society “and employment is a key aspect of this.”

While the 8-10 week course is subsidised it does carry a material cost of $40 which equates to approximately $2 per session. Classes will be held in an informal classroom environment at the Manders Villas, in Caulfield.

Another Jewish Care initiative, also launching in March, is the ‘Steps to Good Health’ program that gives participants the chance to participate in a range of activities designed to help improve their health and wellbeing.  The membership-based program is available to people with special needs over the age of 16.

Activities include a walking group, healthy eating classes, fitness sessions and healthy relationship and sexuality education workshops. Each member joining the program will be given a card to track their activities and by reaching certain milestones have the chance to win prizes.

Participants will have access to numerous sessions over the course of the program and these can be tailored to suit individual needs, without impacting on other daily commitments. The membership fee is $50 and participants can attend as many sessions as they wish.

Information sessions are being held on February 8 and 11 and the program will run from March until June 2016.

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