Cooking up new skills on the road to employment

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Gateways Support Services pre-employment skills program is helping young adults with a disability to pursue their passions and goals.

Josh ‘Stormy’ Storm says the Gateways Job Quest program is helping him learn more about his love of food and cooking, among other skills.

The 20-year-old who loves watching celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, is now gaining hands-on experience in food settings as part of his involvement in Job Quest.

‘I want to be able to get out there and find a job in something I enjoy and earn some money, too,’ Storm says.

Job Quest is designed to empower adults with a disability to build pre-employment skills and confidence in a safe and supportive team environment. Based out of Gateways Community PLACE, North Geelong, the programs work to identify each individual’s skills and interests, then build their capacity in those areas.

Skill development sessions include training in teamwork, money management, workplace norms and time management.

Weekly volunteer sessions involve experience across a range of industries such as gardening, food services and office work. Current partners include Café Bear and Scoobs, NQR, Brumby’s bakery, Pet Stock and Diaco’s nursery.

Gateways Support Services also has a memorandum of understanding with GForce to support Job Quest participants to transition into paid employment.

Program participants require an NDIS plan with Core, Capacity Building or Employment Funding (0102). Gateways Support Services can assist in providing a quote for NDIS planning and reviews.

Stormy says his favourite part of Job Quest is working at Brumby’s Manifolds Heights where he enjoys prepping food and learning new recipes, which he tries out on his housemates.

Job Quest Support Worker Xavier Robertson says volunteering sessions give the Job Quest participants an opportunity to practice concepts covered in the program within a real-world context.

‘Stormy has really taken to the tasks in our volunteer sites and has gained some new skills at the bakery as well as becoming much more comfortable with both staff and other participants,’ Xavier says.

‘Job Quest is a great way to get some hands-on experience that will be helpful in the workplace and life in general.’

Stormy says anyone who needs help gaining skills to prepare for a job should give the program a go.

‘Give it a go and see if you enjoy it because it is always good to try new things,’ he says.

Find out more via the Job Quest section of our website or call 5221 2984.

The program is currently available in the Barwon region only.

Geelong (Head Office)
03 5221 2984
12-14 Thompson Rd
North Geelong,
Western Melbourne
03 9396 1111
77 Droop St
03 9749 7388
3 Princes Highway
03 5562 8271
171 Lava Street