29 November 2022
TAFE NSW is helping students with Autism Spectrum Disorder find meaningful employment through a fee-free short course to develop their communication and social interaction skills.
The TAFE Statement in Education and Employment Pathways is an eight-week course designed to build skills in presenting, workplace communication, managing stress and anxiety, and managing teamwork challenges.
Berala local Gordon Lai is just of the TAFE NSW students taking advantage of the course and has landed his first-ever job at one of the world’s largest insurance companies, Allianz.
“The Social Occupation & Communications Skills course at TAFE NSW Ultimo provided me with the skills I needed to communicate clearly, and I feel really proud of my achievement,” Gordon said.
“I hope other people with autism consider studying the course because it gave me the confidence boost I needed to land my first-ever job as a claims consultant at Allianz.”
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of people diagnosed with autism has increased by 25 per cent in Australia in the last five years. Autism Tasmania has since reported that up to 84 per cent of individuals with autism are also diagnosed with anxiety disorders, which holds many back during job interviews.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Career Pathways and Employability Skills, Dragica Sinikoski said many of the students who study the course go on to gain employment for the first time in their lives.
"The course allows students to embrace their differences as strengths and learn through hands-on experience how to communicate successfully and comfortably,” Ms Siniksoki said.
"It's been beneficial to everyone involved, including the employers who might not have known how to engage and provide a positive workplace for people with autism.
"We are so proud that Gordon and the other students have gone on to find work or gain a better idea of what kind of career they want to do in the future."
Media contact: Callum Darby-Linfitt, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, 02 7921 1823 firstname.lastname@example.org