Zoee Makes the Cut in Her Dream Role through School Leavers Employment Support

Despite starting the WDEA Works School Leavers Employment Supports (SLES) program in the middle of a Covid-19 induced lockdown, Zoee Howe found a job which has her leaping out of bed each day, happy and excited to go to work.

When Zoee commenced SLES in April 2020, Victoria was in lock-down and all sessions were conducted online via video conferencing. Zoee’s Employment Preparation and Engagement Consultant Elisha took an innovative approach, and by working online together they were still able to complete tasks and learn skills to help Zoee prepare for the workplace.

Elisha helped Zoee prepare her resume and ran sessions about work and work experience and potential workplace conversations and scenarios. They also conducted practice interviews, helping to build Zoee’s self-esteem and confidence.

Zoee had a keen interest in the beauty industry and wanted to work towards a role at a local salon- KJ Hair Design. Zoee had visited the salon several times and found it to be a positive and accepting environment.

Three women standing in front of a white brick wall with the KJ Hair Designs signage
L-R Elisha, Zoee & Kara

Elisha contacted Kara from KJ Hair Design and they arranged two months of work experience at the salon. Zoee was able to get an understanding of the salon tasks and working environment, and also getting used to working for long periods on her feet.

“Zoee handled the working hours like a champion and ended up wanting to do an hour more each day,” said Elisha. “It was great to see Kara and Zoee have such a great connection.”

The successful work experience culminated in a part-time role for Zoee. She now works three days a week at the salon, greeting customers, washing hair, doing nails and tanning.

Zoee is thrilled and thriving in her new role at the salon.

“I’m so happy to work at K J Hair Design, I really enjoy helping Kara,” she said.

“I enjoy making people look and feel beautiful, it’s always been a passion of mine. I really enjoy helping people, so I love working at K H Hair Design.”

Before gaining employment, Zoee had transitioned from SLES into WDEA Works Disability Employment Services (DES) but was still able to work with and be supported by Elisha. Gaining employment has had a positive impact on Zoee.

“It feels really good having a purpose” she said.

Elisha continues to support Zoee, keeping communication open between Kara, Zoee and Zoee’s family.

Elisha and Zoee catch up once a week for an hour, checking in on Zoee’s work and life. Elisha is there to assist if Zoee has any concerns or if she needs anything for work. They continue to practice work-place skills- role playing customer service scenarios, answering the phones or anything Zoee needs help with.

Elisha feels privileged to be part of Zoee’s journey.

“It has been incredible to see Zoee grow from being a shy participant of SLES into independently working and doing what she loves,” she said.

WDEA Works offers support and aids in providing jobs for school leaversContact us to find out more.

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