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Caytlyn's new challengeAdvertising Feature

FIT FOR WORK: Karl van Bruggen is supporting Caytlyn Sharp with her literacy skills and ensuring she is linked with the services needed to help. Photo: Supplied

Caytlyn Sharp is a force to be reckoned with. She has already achieved an enormous list of accolades in the sporting arena, including representing at state, national and international athletics, state swimming, state and national cross country, winning more than 10 championships and awards, and being named as an ambassador for organisations such as the INAS World Ambassador 2018/2020.

Caytlyn is now also sharing her focus with a new challenge; to find meaningful employment. Through WDEA Works School Leavers Employment Support (SLES), the 19 year-old is supported to take on this challenge by her Employment Preparation and Engagement Consultant (EPEC) Karl van Bruggen.

As someone who experiences autism spectrum disorder and an intellectual learning disorder, Caytlyn knows firsthand the difficulties students can face through the education system which often does not cater for students with learning disorders. This experience has motivated Caytlyn to aspire to a career as a teacher's aide in a special development school.

"I would love a career where I am able to work with kids with special needs and watch them grow and learn," said Caytlyn.

Working with Karl in SLES Caytlyn has been developing the skills she needs to move into the workforce including body language, literacy, money and people skills, communication, workplace etiquette, health and safety, resume writing, and building self-esteem and confidence.

I would love a career where I am able to work with kids with special needs and watch them grow and learn

- Caytlyn Sharp

"Through SLES I am proud of improving my reading and writing skills at a level that is individualised for myself."

Caytlyn is preparing for a Certificate in General Education to continue along her career pathway and is grateful for Karl's support and the SLES service. "My EPEC understands me and listens really well and follows through," she says. "He will always go out of his way to ensure that l understand, and that l am getting the most out of my SLES session. SLES is very beneficial, it's not run like a school, and it is very individualised so you can learn at your own pace."

Karl is proud of the work and growth Caytlyn has achieved since joining SLES in April this year.

"Caytlyn has achieved so much already," he said. "Together we're working on the skills she needs to achieve her goals; we're finding ways to translate the skills she has from her sporting background into work. This includes surrounding yourself with supports to help you grow. I'm so proud of everything she has achieved and cannot wait to see what her future holds."