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youth working as disability care worker

After struggling with Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) barriers, low confidence and little motivation, 21-year-old Zeb has now found meaningful employment as a Disability Support Worker.

When Zeb left high school, he had no idea what he wanted to do with himself – so he registered with Centrelink, and was then linked with ETC as his Employment Service provider.

Alongside his LLN barriers, Zeb had no family support network, no transport, unstable housing and drug dependence. This caused him to develop high anxiety and become disengaged in finding work.

“There was no exact moment that Zeb turned around, but with persistence and empathy we were able to build a great working relationship and through this he gradually changed the way he thought himself and about his life”, said ETC’s Job’s Advisor Bec.

During his time with ETC, he was booked into work preparation workshops, driving lessons, counselling sessions and was assisted with interview clothes, haircuts and even some fashion tips from Bec.

But the turning point for Zeb was the opportunity to study a Certificate III in Individual Support and being introduced to Garry at Wesley Training.

“Garry and the team really took him under their wing and they were able to support Zeb with his LLN issues throughout the course”, said Bec.

COVID-19 restrictions were imposed midway through the course, which meant Zeb had to move to online study – but he was so engaged and supported by this stage that he purchased his own laptop to continue with online learning.

Zeb completed his course and started work placement with NewIDAFE in Port Macquarie.

“He blew them away with his calm empathetic nature, and ability to engage and care for their clients”, said Bec.

NewIDAFE hired Zeb at the end of his work placement and he has now been working there for the last six months.

“He has used his initiative to start art projects, which the participants love, and he has really found himself”, said Bec.

Zeb has now kicked his bad habits and rebuilt his relationship with his Dad – who he is living with and assisting to care for since he was diagnosed with Emphysema.

He has also completed his driver learners logbook and is ready to take his driving test.

Not to mention, “Zeb was recently been nominated for Trainee of the Year through the NSW Training Awards and even though he wasn’t successful, we are so proud of him!” said Bec.


Are you a young person who is struggling and needs some support to change your life around? ETC can help you!

Whether you’ve never had a job, or want to take the next step in your career progression – we’re here to help. ETC can tailor the right employment path to help you find sustainable and meaningful employment – and change your life around, just like Zeb!

Find out more about our services for job seekers.

If you’re looking to hire a young person like Zeb – reach out to our Business Relationship Team on 1800 007 400 or find out more about Hiring Youth.

Read about more Youth overcoming employment barriers:

Accidents can’t stop committed youth from working at dream job



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