We recently spoke with Scott Mclarty, Director of Connecting Futures Australia.
Connecting Futures – an NDIS registered provider helping people develop the skills they need to build a more independent life – was founded in 2019 and has quickly grown to 15 team members across three offices in Bendigo, Echuca, and Maryborough. They offer Level 2 and Level 3 Support Coordination, School Leaver Employment Supports, Independent Living, Life and employment skills education and development programs where they support over 250 NDIS participants.
Scott is excited about the opportunity for Connecting Futures to collaborate with other GROW Bendigo signatories to develop connections with businesses interested in empowering NDIS participants to find employment.
The main challenge that Connecting Futures faces is finding organisations committed to creating career pathways for people with a disability. Scott emphasises that – when supported by the experienced team at Connecting Futures – the accommodations required when employing a person with a disability, do not cost the employer more time or money and can lead to many benefits. The Connecting Futures team are there to navigate any challenges and ensure that participants have the support they need to transition into the workforce.
“Having strong connections and partnerships within our local community is integral to Connecting Futures being able to provide our participants with a holistic framework that will best support their goals,” he explains.
Building individual capacity
One of Connecting Future’s flagship programs is the School Leavers Employment Support (SLES) Program, a two-year capacity-building program to build young people’s social skills, work skills, and confidence.
By providing young people with one-on-one career mentors and a carefully curated curriculum, SLES participants can discover their passions and develop a clear path towards achieving their life and career goals. This approach is especially important for young Autistic adults, who Connecting Futures predominantly work with. By providing NDIS participants with a dedicated career mentor, it not only helps them succeed, but also creates a pathway for an outstanding employee that increases the diversity, culture and reach of the organisation.
Finding employers who can invest in these young people and see their potential is crucial to the program’s success.
Scott states, “We are eager to partner with like-minded signatories to provide sustainable pathways to employment, specifically for 16-24-year-olds in a safe and supportive environment.”
The GROW Bendigo community is a testament to the power of collaboration and partnerships supporting growth and improvements for businesses and individuals. If you’re interested in becoming part of this community and finding out how your business might benefit, please contact Rob Murphy on 5442 7816 or email@example.com
Photo caption: As part of the SLES program, young people are participating in a 24 week cooking program, to build their capacity to live independently as well as improve their organisational skills. On this day, Isiah, Thomas and Henry were learning to make Raisin French Toast with caramelised banana … yum!