Mai-Wel’s Step Up is a School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) initiative delivered to Year 12 school leavers with a disability to support their transition from school to employment. It is considered an ‘early intervention’ support, teaching necessary skills, increasing work capacity and alleviating barriers to employment by assisting participants at the earliest possible stage. These supports are designed to build a participant’s capacity to transition to employment using a Disability Employment Service (DES).

Mai-Wel LabourForce Solutions’ SLES and DES services work together to ensure participants have minimal disruption through their journey to employment. For previous SLES participants, Maddie and Zoe, the transition to job placement with MWLFS DES has been seamless and they have recently been employed by KFC Heatherbrae as ‘Restaurant Rangers’, a very important role during the current environment with COVID-19 and the heightened importance of hygiene.

What does a Restaurant Ranger do, you ask?

As Restaurant Rangers, Maddie and Zoe are responsible for cleaning touch points throughout the restaurant to minimise the risk of spreading and catching germs. The girls take the responsibility of their roles very seriously, cleaning down surfaces after each customer visit, and they are building their confidence to instruct customers about social distancing.

Maddie hopes to build her confidence through the role. She admits to being a bit shy and eventually wants to be able to work behind the counter, where she would have more face-to-face customer interactions.

Maddie says she likes working at KFC because she gets to “meet new people outside of the friends I’ve made at Mai-Wel.”

Zoe is hoping to one day work in the kitchen as a cook at KFC. In particular, she has said she “wants to make the potato and gravy!”

Zoe has experienced many benefits from working at KFC, particularly building her independence as she earns her own money. She has also loved meeting a lot of new people.

Through Step Up Maitland, Zoe and Maddie built their capacity for employment through work experience, job skills training, and travel and vocational training. Their new employment positions with KFC have been a huge achievement and has allowed them to successfully show off the skills learnt in Step Up in a practical working environment.

For more information on Mai-Wel’s Step Up School Leave Employment Supports service and Disability Employment Service, or contact our team on mwlfs@maiwel.com.au or 4015 8400.