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Introducing our supported School Based Traineeships

Friday, April 21, 2017

Open Minds recently introduced a new employment program to provide supported School Based Traineeships for Year 10, 11 & 12 students with a verified disability. Our Schools Division support students to help them get their first job whilst completing high school and provide the tools for them to commence a career pathway.

Transitioning from school to employment can be difficult for students. We partner with the school, parents and employers to ensure students are well supported and advocated for throughout this journey. Our goal is to transition each and every student in our program into sustainable employment post-high school.

What is a Supported School Based Traineeship?

A supported School Based Traineeship is a collaboration of partners where the key objective is for the student to gain and complete a school based traineeship, followed by sustainable ongoing employment post-high school. This leads to empowerment, increased self-esteem, becoming self- sufficient and provides an unrivalled opportunity to become a contributing adult in the community.

In addition, students will gain a nationally recognised qualification, paid employment, relevant workplace experience, mentoring and support throughout their journey. Students participating in a school based traineeship will work for 8 paid hours, per week, which is paid by our Principal Employer Organisation (PEO). Work hours and days will be coordinated in collaboration with each student’s school. Students will receive face-to-face training and mentoring in the workplace and at school.
Could you be a host employer?

Supportive host employers make a real difference to the outcomes of young people with a disability in their community. As a Host Employer, your role will be to:

  • Provide a safe, supportive and disability-friendly environment for the student to grow
  • Allow the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to train the student once a month in the workplace
  • Provide feedback on attendance and any ongoing support required to all key stakeholders

Benefits for a Host Employer

  • The satisfaction of making a real difference to a student with a disability
  • A free staff member for 8 hours a week
  • The option of employing the student directly upon completion of their traineeship
  • Creating a positive impact on staff morale
  • Promoting a positive message to the community of diversity in the workplace and social inclusion
  • A life changing positive impact on the student and their family


  • People with a disability - just like all employees - bring a range of skills and abilities to the workplace, and can strengthen your business through a more diverse, inclusive and stable workforce
  • 92% of the public view companies employing people with a disability more favourably than those that do not
  • 87% of the public also agree that they would prefer to give their business to companies employing people with a disability

What is the outcome?
It is our goal that all students finish their traineeship with ongoing employment. We do not stop working with our students once they are qualified; we are here for students at the conclusion of their traineeship to ensure they have sustainable ongoing employment.


Students following their dreams

Bailey and Billy

The Open Minds Employment Services team assisted Bailey to begin a School Based Traineeship (SBT) in Retail with Cash Converters. Bailey was so keen to give a good impression on his first day that he arrived 30 minutes early and was waiting for the store to open! The recent rain wasn’t a good enough excuse for Bailey to not go to work – he chose to brave the weather conditions. His employer is really impressed with his work ethic.

Billy has also commenced a SBT in Retail with Cash Converters. Billy has already shown terrific initiative by not waiting for instructions from his supervisor and taking on tasks himself – impressing his employer by showing he is a real self starter.

Both Bailey and Billy go to the same school and both they and their families are so happy for the support given by Open Minds, which included buying work-ready clothes to wear on their first day. A comment from the School after their first day at work was, “both of the boys really enjoyed working at Cash Converters and this is a great fit for both of them, thank you so much”. The Manager at Cash Converters is delighted that both of them are doing so well.


Our Employment Services Schools Division have supported Aleisha to commence a School Based Traineeship in Hospitality with Red Rooster.
Aleisha comes from a big family of seven children, loves cooking and is very keen to learn as much as she can about hospitality. Her dream is to pursue a career in this area once she completes high school.

Aleisha will be the first person in her family to complete high school and her parents are hoping that she will be the role model for her younger siblings. Her family were so grateful to Open Minds for assisting Aleisha by supplying her with work-ready clothes - Aleisha will certainly look the part in her workplace!

Both the Franchise Owner and the Store Manager are very supportive of the program and of Aleisha.


Download a PDF version of the Better Days Autumn Edition here