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Unlocking Opportunities: A Guide to Customised Employment for Parents 

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As parents, we all want the best for our children, including meaningful employment opportunities that allow them to thrive and contribute to society. However, navigating the job market can be daunting, especially for individuals with disabilities or unique support needs. That’s where customised employment comes in—a personalised approach to job placement that tailors employment opportunities to match an individual’s strengths, interests, and support requirements. In this blog post, we’ll explore what Customised Employment is and how it can benefit individuals with diverse abilities and their families. 

What is Customised Employment?

Customised Employment is a flexible and individualised approach to job placement that focuses on matching the unique abilities and preferences of job seekers with the needs of employers. Rather than fitting individuals into pre-existing job roles, Customised Employment involves creating or modifying job duties, tasks, and workplace environments to meet the specific skills and support needs of the individual.  

How Does Customised Employment Work?

Customised Employment typically involves a collaborative process between the job seeker, vocational rehabilitation professionals, employers, and support networks. It is an opportunity that will meet the needs that the individual has for employment, the conditions necessary for his or her success, and the needs that the business has for valued, contributing employees.

Here’s how it works:

Discovery Process: The process begins with a comprehensive assessment of the individual’s strengths, interests, skills, and support requirements. This may include interviews with family, schools, vocational evaluations, and assessments of workplace preferences and accommodations. For people with disability who are of working age (Year 10 and/or Aged 14 years and 9 months) and onwards, who want to prepare for their transition to employment, a discovery process (including work experience, volunteering, career development and other work exploration pathways) can be appropriately funded through the NDIS. 

Job Search Planning: Once the individual’s preferences and abilities are identified, employment mentors work closely with employers to identify or create job opportunities that align with the individual’s strengths and support needs. This may involve job carving (restructuring existing job roles), job creation (developing new positions) customising employment. Employment mentors develop a plan toward meaningful employment, determine a list of potential employers, investigate employment opportunities through the process of informational interviews and conduct an analysis of benefits. 

Job Development and Negotiation: Once a suitable job match is identified, the employment mentor negotiates with the employer to create a customised job description and identify appropriate accommodations, support strategies and the terms of employment that will match the individual’s interests, skills, conditions necessary for success, and specific contributions, and will fill the un-met needs of an employer. 

Ongoing Support and Follow-Up: After placement, ongoing support and follow-up is provided to ensure the individual’s success in the workplace. This may include periodic check-ins, training updates, and adjustments to accommodations as needed. Setting up on-going post-employment supports and monitoring the employment relationship to ensure satisfaction of both the individual and the employer is essential.

Benefits of Customised Employment for Individuals and Families:

Increased Job Satisfaction: Customised Employment allows individuals to work in roles that align with their interests, strengths, and abilities, leading to greater job satisfaction and fulfilment. 

Improved Independence: By focusing on individual strengths and support needs, Customised Employment promotes independence and autonomy in the workplace. 

Enhanced Social Inclusion: Customised Employment fosters inclusive workplaces where individuals with diverse abilities are valued and respected for their contributions. 

Greater Long-Term Success: Research has shown that individuals placed through Customised Employment tend to have higher job retention rates and greater long-term success in the workforce. 

How Can Parents Get Involved?

As a parent, you play a crucial role in advocating for Customised Employment opportunities for your child. Here are some ways you can get involved: 

Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn more about Customised Employment and its potential benefits for your child. Attend workshops, seminars, or informational sessions on the topic to gain a deeper understanding of how it works. 

Advocate for Services: Work with your child’s school, service providers, and community organisations to advocate for Customised Employment services and supports. Be proactive in seeking out opportunities and resources that can help your child achieve their employment goals. 

Collaborate with Professionals: Build relationships with vocational specialists, providers with employment mentors trained to deliver Customised Employment approach, job coaches, and other professionals who can assist your child in navigating the Customised Employment process. Collaborate with them to develop a personalised plan that meets your child’s unique needs and aspirations. 

Promote Inclusive Practices: Advocate for inclusive hiring practices within your community and encourage employers to consider Customised Employment as a viable option for diversifying their workforce. 

Customised Employment offers a pathway to meaningful and sustainable employment for individuals with diverse abilities. By embracing this innovative approach and working collaboratively with professionals, employers, and support networks, parents can help unlock opportunities and create a brighter future for their children.

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