Ticket to Work, an initiative of National Disability Services (NDS), is using a collaborative network of schools, employers and employment agencies to support secondary students with disability to gain valuable work experience while at school and to help transition them into employment.
Economic valuations conducted by Social Ventures Australia (SVA) of the Ticket to Work model revealed an average financial benefit of $27,100 per participant over the three years of data they analysed.
According to SVA director, Gillian Turnbull the report showed that when students with disability are supported to find work, the employment and economic outcomes are remarkable.
“The students with disability who participated in the Ticket to Work model were over three times more likely to be in employment in the community when they finished school compared to students that did not participate,” she said.
NDS supports 34 Ticket to Work networks around Australia, comprising 205 schools, 350 local organisations and many employers. Together, they have worked with more than 3,400 students and delivered 1,621 first jobs for students with disability.
Ticket to Work takes a collaborative approach to prepare high school students with disability for the world of work, which has resulted in participants having higher labour market participation, school completion, social participation and independence compared to other young people with similar disability.
NDS CEO, David Moody believes the Ticket to Work model stands to have a positive financial impact for both government and people with disability.
“Thousands of students with disability have taken part in the Ticket to Work initiative with incredible results. Many students who may not have finished school have not only accomplished that but gained meaningful employment and training.
“If we are to prevent further disadvantage then the doors to employment need to be kept open as we re-build in the wake of the Covid economic downturn,” Moody said.
NDS is urging the Commonwealth Government to adopt the Ticket to Work model, with the research showing a modest investment will ensure far greater numbers of young people with disability gain access to meaningful employment each year.