Pathways to Employment

24 February, 2016

Project Update

Pathways to Employment Post-SCI: Peer-Facilitated Support is a project that focuses on the importance of finding one’s way to meaningful activity, whether it is work, study, volunteering or community participation in a person’s life. Spire is taking a community development approach, which recognises that there are existing resources in the community which remain locked within people’s lived experience; and within professional networks, organisations and programs; which would be useful to people with SCI.

Rather than duplicating existing resources, Spire seeks develop targeted supports and resources that would help make connections that usually don’t – or wont – happen on their own and to help build capacity within people and organisations to widen the flow of people navigating their own diverse pathways to employment.

“To inform some interventions that we will build; mentoring coaching interventions, short courses run by people with SCI for people with SCI"

"Advancing the ability for people to return to work or return to study in a way that is meaningful to them''

With the project commencing in the second half of 2015, Spire has so far consulted with researchers, vocational consultants, careers advisors and a representative group of people with lived-experience who have given individual experience and perspective; all which led to forming the Advisory Group. A group of like-minded people to work alongside Spire; sharing their thoughts, ideas and resources to help to shape and build a suite of services targeting employment outcomes for people with SCI.

We seek to build resources that 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.

One of the first initiatives emerging from the Advisory Group is to set up a ‘Professionals with SCI’ network group. Spire will help form, resource and assist a group of people, who have found their own pathways to employment, post-SCI, to network and set their own agendas around what is important to them in the professional community. If you would like to find out more or express your interest in being part of this group, follow the link.

After collecting the survey results we will set up an initial meeting. This meeting will be a chance to discuss how people would like the group to run, what topics they want to cover, and how we can work together to develop and support the groups success.

"Use community resources, community capacity; focusing on increasing the post-injury vocational achievements of people"

“I have returned to study; completed my diploma of community services then going on to uni to continue in the same field, doing my social work degree"

With the project gaining momentum and ideas starting to take shape, Spire in partnership with the Royal Talbot Rehab Centre will incorporate an employment element into the next WOT Day (What’s out There) on April 13th. We would look to:

  • Include a few people with employment lived-experience on the panel who would give insight into their own experiences around employment post-SCI,
  • Have a smaller ‘employment’ specific break-out session to allow for more in-depth conversation around this life domain,
  • Exhibit stalls from relevant organisations, such as universities, TAFE’s and disability employment organisations; providing information and answering questions.

As the year progresses Spire looks forward to continuing to work with individuals, groups, organisations and its various support networks. Our principle goal is to build on existing general resources, develop more specialised supports and share unlocked services, to widen the flow of people living with a SCI navigating their own pathway to employment and meaningful activity.

Tags: News, Employment