2 Dec 2019
USC has signed up for a national employment support program aimed at improving job opportunities for university graduates with a disability.
The University Specialist Employment Partnerships (USEP) program is a collaboration between universities, disability employment services and the National Disability Coordination Officer program.
Nicola Wilson from AccessAbility Services at USC’s Student Services and Engagement helped facilitate the program at the University’s Sunshine Coast campus.
Ms Wilson said the need for USEP was highlighted by a recent national Graduate Destinations Report that showed graduates with a disability were twice as likely to be unemployed and seeking full-time work as those without a disability.
“Through USEP we partnered with Mylestones Employment at the start of Semester 2 and they offered free and confidential on-campus consults to assist current USC students and recent graduates who identify as having a disability find work related to their fields of study,” she said.
“USC is really proud to be part of USEP and confirm that the program will be available to eligible students across all campuses from the start of 2020, both in person and via phone or webinar contacts.”
National Disability Coordination Officer for Southern Queensland Debbie Rooskov said USC should be commended for working to boost the career outcomes for students with disabilities.
“This is a brilliant additional level of tailored support that will be a huge advantage to USC’s present and future students with a disability, in ensuring they enter the workforce with confidence,” Ms Rooskov said.
“Importantly, the disability specialist recruitment officer will have up-to-date relationships with organisations who are already leading the way with diverse workplaces and advocate for equal opportunities.”
Recent USC graduate and recipient of a Chancellor’s Medal at her September graduation, Belinda Harris has taken up the offer of one-on-one consultations.
“It’s a very confronting reality that if you have a disability, you’re less likely to get a job,” Ms Harris said.
“It’s a topic I’ve always felt really passionate about and had spoken to USC about the need for specific career assistance for students with a disability. So I’m so happy to see USEP introduced at USC,” she said.