Finishing school and finding her passion

Year 12 student Georgia was accepted into Barkuma’s Transition Program in 2020, and started connecting with other like-minded individuals. Georgia successfully completed Semester I at Barkuma, and went on to TAFE to complete a Cert II in Retail Services. This course was successful in building her confidence, communication and seeing whether further study was a viable post-school option.

Georgia is a passionate fashionista who is keen to pursue a career in retail. Despite having some additional support needs, Georgia is committed to her employment journey and registered with Barkuma Employment, a Disability Employment Service (DES).

Barkuma Employment assisted with updating her resume, writing cover letters and job seeking activities. Through Barkuma’s partnership with West Torrens Library, Georgia was offered an opportunity to interview for a position, where they were very impressed with her presentation and interview skills.

Georgia is now halfway through an 18 month specialised traineeship, working 4 days a week at the library, and is looking forward to continuing her career in this sector.

A safe place to belong and thrive

Year 12 student Will had hesitations about being referred to Barkuma’s Transition Program. Though generally reluctant to try new things, his family wanted to explore his employment options beyond the ADE. During the interview it was evident Will did not enjoy the school environment and didn’t think he would enjoy coming to Barkuma. Following discussions with family and school, it was decided that Will could trial the program, and reassess in a few weeks. To support this trial, the Transition Program Coordinators worked with Will to establish clear boundaries and provided additional support for him to understand others and acceptable behaviours. Will’s growth was exceptional. Barkuma became a place he looked forward to attending saying “Barkuma treats me like an adult”.

Before long Will was heading to the shops independently for lunch and breaks, enjoying afternoon tea at a local café.

Upon assessing Will’s progress and goals, it was decided by all that he would benefit from accessing Barkuma’s School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) in Semester 2. Will is now regularly attending a SLES group whilst completing school to ensure he achieves his SACE, with the plan to fully engage with SLES once graduated. Through collaboration with Will, his family, school and the various Barkuma programs, we were able to support a holistic approach to transition Will from school to his exciting future.

“I would like to say how important the Transition Program is. I feel it has been the extension and challenge that William needed. The support you have offered William, myself and Marc has been amazing. Thank you for opening my world to the amazing possibilities available for William. We are looking to continue working with Barkuma through SLES, and continue William’s next steps.” – Will’s mum Vicki.

Support transitioning from school to employment

Year 12 student Siomonn was referred to Barkuma’s Transition Program in 2020 by his school. Unsure if it would be the right fit, Siomonn and his family met with the Transition Program Coordinators in Term 4 to understand his needs, goals and for them to view the adult learning environment at Barkuma South Tce. When the program began in February 2021, Siomonn was given the opportunity to show his learning in different ways and on his own terms. He thrived in this environment, and showed initiative and leadership when supporting his peers and trainers, especially with IT related issues.

Through career counselling, hospitality was identified as a good fit for Siomonn to pursue in Semester 2 with accredited training. Siomonn showed he was very capable in the kitchen, successfully completing a Cert II in Kitchen Operations. His trainers praised his positive attitude, presentation, persistence and being the first one to volunteer to clean up.

As Siomonn’s independence grew, transport training was the next goal kicked to ensure he got to his hospitality course independently. Following a work experience at a Bakery, Siomonn was clear on his goal to work in that environment, though he recognised he would benefit from employment support. Siomonn had already registered with Barkuma Employment, a Disability Employment Service (DES), and a seamless transition saw him complete a work trial with Coles Kilburn Bakery. Once again, Siomonn impressed with his eagerness and skills and was offered a job. Siomonn is now a valued member of the bakery department at Coles Kilburn.

Through Barkuma’s Transition program, Siomonn was connected to a pool of over 500 South Australian DES business partners for a variety of employment opportunities.

To find out more, contact the Transition Program Team on 8414 7100