Launched in 2015, Spire’s community development project, Pathways to Employment, is gathering momentum and proving to be a success.
Pathways to Employment was initiated after consultation with disability, health and career experts and focuses on the importance of finding one’s way to meaningful activity whether it is work, study, volunteering or community participation. The project’s principal goal is to unlock and improve existing community resources to help widen the flow of people who navigate their own diverse pathways to employment.
Building momentum throughout 2016, the first major achievement of Pathways to Employment is the formation of the Professionals with Spinal Cord Injury Network (PROwSCI).
PROwSCI is an open network targeted at providing people with an opportunity to collaborate with others to discover and develop resources around career development and progression. The network aims to address the issues facing professionals with SCI as well as to increase respect for and recognition of the value, influence and abilities of professionals with SCI.
Network members include professionals, academics and others who are interested in and passionate about sharing their thoughts, knowledge and ideas to help people living with an SCI achieve their employment goals.
The first official PROwSCI meeting took place in August where the group decided to design and develop branding and a brochure outlining their purpose and objectives. As well as setting milestones to achieve before their December meeting, the group is also exploring strategies to generate community interest and advocate to organisations and employers.
In addition to launching PROwSCI, Pathways to Employment has successfully run a WOTday Plus pilot which added a careers and employment theme to our regular WOTday community living expos.
Moving forwards, Pathways to Employment plans to develop resources aimed at building the capacity of Peer Support Volunteers in order to help them respond to and assist with employment related issues.
Future resources that the project seeks to build include, but are not limited to; short courses, community forums, group workshops, individual and/or group capacity building and direct mentoring, as well as opportunities to explore how to deal with early setbacks, career changes, retirement, etc.
If you are an individual living with an SCI or an employer that would like to explore their diversity and disability employment options please contact Spire on (03) 9489 0777 or visit www.spire.org.au.
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