Local community organisation, Gladstone Community Linking Agency (GCLA), is part of the solution in generating employment opportunities for youth in our region. GCLA is a not for profit organisation which specialises in the provision of various levels of support for the aged and also individuals with disability.
With unemployment levels high in the region at the moment, the organisation is very aware of how much more of an issue that is for those with a disability. GCLA has launched a social enterprise to help generate jobs and have appropriately named the initiative ‘Ground Control’. The enterprise will provide lawn care and garden maintenance encouraging young people with a disability to get back into the workforce and develop new skills.
The Australian Network on Disability reports that people aged between 15 and 64 years with disability have both lower participation (53%) and higher unemployment rates (9.4%) than people without disability (83% and 4.9% respectively). While many people with a disability aren’t able to work, there are still those that are keen to get back into the workforce and be given a chance.
GCLA Operations Manager Laurie Ellis says “Ground Control has been established to deliver a solution and provide employment options for these young people, giving them a sense of purpose, friendship and life experience.”
“We’re excited to announce our first major social enterprise, not just because it will generate jobs, but it also provides a much needed service for customers whose yard could do with a little TLC.”
The pending launch of federal programs such as My Aged Care and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will enable Ground Control to additionally provide support options to individuals through their funding packages that may become available under such schemes. Ultimately though, the real winners are the region’s young people with a disability, where on-going employment has been secured.