Ben’s journey to independence and work experience started in the end of 2022 when he joined MTC’s Youth Employment Assistance service to help him plan for his future as he is on the autism spectrum and has anxiety, which at times can be debilitating.
Being in his second year of the service, Ben was eager to gain more work experience and was particularly interested in retail. With the help of his support team at MTC, he researched different retailers in his local area and made some cold calls. That’s how they found Best N Less, who offered Ben one day a week for six weeks.
Despite being excited, Ben was also very nervous and anxious about his first day of work experience, saying he was scared he was going to “do something wrong”. However, on his first day, he was well-presented in an all black uniform and was reassured by his support team that it was normal to feel nervous on the first day and that no one would expect him to be perfect on his first day. With their help, Ben made it through his first day and with each passing week, he became more confident and independent.
After four weeks, Ben was no longer scared and was able to work independently, even catching the bus to and from work experience on his own! The manager at Best N Less was impressed with Ben’s progress, praising him for his quick learning and ability to pick things up easily.
Ben completed his Cert II in retail at TAFE and was determined to continue learning and gaining experience. Ben was proud of himself and eager to do more work experience. By the end of the year, he hopes to be in paid employment, and we believe he will achieve this goal!
Since joining MTC, Ben has gained independence, work experience, confidence, and skills, and is well on his way to achieving his goal. His determination to be like other young men his age and to overcome his barriers is truly inspiring.
We are very proud of all that Ben has accomplished and can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.