Preparing for the future: evaluation of the Career Launchpad program for school leavers with disabilities

Deborah Warr and Sharon Bond

This qualitative study identifies features of a program that enables young people with disability to build interpersonal skills and explore employment pathways.

At a glance

This report discusses an evaluation of Career Launchpad, an employment support program for young people with disability who are not NDIS participants. Designed and delivered in Darwin by YouthWorX NT, the program presents participants with opportunities to gain critical life and work-related skills and experience, and explore and pursue their employment goals. It has proven effective in building young people’s confidence and interpersonal skills and supporting their transition into training and employment.

Dive deeper

Career Launchpad, which commenced in 2019, recognises that while many young people encounter challenges in gaining employment, these are amplified for young people with disabilities. The program responds to a service gap in transition support for young people with disabilities who are leaving secondary schooling and who are not eligible for an NDIS Plan. Young people in these circumstances have few options for building career paths that can enable them to lead independent and fulfilling lives.

BSL researchers were commissioned to evaluate the second program cycle of Career Launchpad, which ran across 2022. The evaluation explores experiences of the program, and its outcomes, through interviews with participants; community stakeholders such as parents and representatives of schools, government services and employers associated with the program; and YouthWorX NT staff.

Career Launchpad supports young people to gain a Certificate 1 in Developing Independence while exploring their individual employment aspirations and pathways. It uses a holistic, flexible and applied approach to learning, offers a warm, sociable environment and facilitates real work experience through partnerships with local employers.

Last updated on 29 May 2023