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Transition education students - Hume library work placement

Transition education students get hands-on with Hume library work placement

Nine students from the Certificate I in Transition Education are now undertaking work placements at Hume's The Age Library as part of Kangan Institute's latest initiative with the Hume City Council. The Certificate I in Transition Education provides basic work and life skills to students with mild intellectual disabilities and special learning needs. As part of the placement students will experience a range of duties over eight Friday afternoons, including organising existing material on shelves, shelving and collecting loose items for library staff. Program coordinator Susan Siebel and teacher Michael Drakoulis shared that the program brought about numerous benefits to both the students and local community. "Students look forward to going to the library and helping out – the program allows them to give something back to the community while they directly gain some skills. They're learning how the library works, how to put the material in order as well as deal with customers and the public, which is all part of their course," said Michael. One of the most important objectives of the program is to provide participating students with a vital stepping stone to further opportunities in the community. "Students have the opportunity to learn about the benefits of participating for both the organisation and the individual, to work as part of a team and explore options for future participation in the community," Susan said. "We have our hardworking teachers, especially Michael Drakoulis, to thank for setting this all up and of course, the Council staff who have been extremely helpful in assisting us to organise this initiative." The Age Library branch coordinator Wendy Byron highlighted the program's value to the community. "This initiative has helped the library keep the shelves in order - it seems like a little thing but it does help us. I also think it's great that customers get to see that the library service is inclusive; that we take on people of all abilities," she said. The nine students commenced the course in 2011 through Kangan Institute's partnership with Melbourne City Mission. "I remember how anxious the parents were at the information night - they were concerned that their children would not be able to manage the demands of the course, let alone undertake any vocational training," said language studies manager Yvette Bockisch. "So it's very exciting that we're now able to see some great outcomes arising from the program and this placement." Kangan Institute's Certificate I in Transition Education currently enrols more than 20 students with placements continually being set up across the local Hume community as part of the program. To find out more click here

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