Job seekers with disabilities often face unique challenges in finding and maintaining employment. In addition to the physical barriers in the workplace, such as inaccessible buildings and equipment, they can often be overlooked or not even considered for roles that they are suitable for – because of outdated and preconceived ideas.
Inclusion WA’s Industry Mentors in Employment Project, in partnership with Inclusion Solutions, seeks to address these challenges by providing job seekers with a Mentor who can help them prepare for the job market, through guidance and support. Together, we hope to educate employers on the value of hiring individuals with disabilities and how to create an inclusive workplace culture that welcomes diversity.
Not only can Industry Mentors help develop a person’s skills and experience, but they also offer something more: connections within the industry that might not otherwise be possible.
A Genuine and Authentic Relationship
For job seekers, having a Mentor who understands their unique challenges and can offer guidance, support and confidence building can make a significant difference in their job search. Mentors, in turn, have the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone’s life while also gaining new insights into the disability sector to help shape culture change and bias – still present in many professions and disciplines.
When it comes to employment, the right connections can open career pathways.
Mentors can help develop the Mentees career goals, build a network of contacts within the industry and provide advice on how to best achieve their professional aspirations.
A Career Action Plan
Mentors help develop a career plan for their Mentees and support them in building a network of contacts within the industry. They also encourage the development of skills, and experiences with the aim to build their confidence and make them more prepared for paid employment.
A Mentor will offer practical advice on how to improve one’s resume or find work experience opportunities that are relevant to their passions.
Fostering the Next Generation of Change-makers
Inclusion WA’s Industry Mentors in Employment Project, in partnership with Inclusion Solutions, aims to help bridge the gap between job seekers with disabilities and potential employers.
It is a pilot program that matches job seekers with a Mentor from the same or similar industry that the Mentee has a genuine passion in. The Mentor can provide valuable industry insight, guidance and support in navigating and preparing for a future role in their chosen area of interest.
Mentors can support their Mentees in a number of ways to get them prepared for employment including but not limited to;
- Informational interviews: An informal meeting or discussion with a person in a job or industry that the Mentee is interested in.
- Job interview practice: Practicing interview skills using role-play to build confidence in Mentees, by helping them prepare for the real thing when the time comes.
- Assigning goals and tasks: Tasks could range from writing cover letters, finding possible jobs on Seek outside of the Mentee’s usual interest area or engaging in certain activities.
Commence Your Mentoring Journey
The Industry Mentors in Employment Project is just one of the ways in which we are working towards promoting inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.
Through programs like this, we are helping to create opportunities for people with disabilities to achieve their full potential and contribute to their communities in meaningful ways.
Let’s work together to encourage, support and help those in need get ‘job ready’.