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Following your interests and the things you love doing is exactly what Afford’s SLES (School Leaver Employment Support) program is all about.

Explore Job Opportunities

Afford’s SLES program is designed to give young job seekers opportunities to strengthen their skills and explore the various jobs available that suit their unique talents and abilities.

Gina is a trainee of the Prestons SLES program. She is very creative and is truly in her element when drawing, knitting and now… sewing!

A Positive Attitude is Key To Success

Gina’s aunty recently gave her a sewing machine that she no longer needed. With such a hands-on and can-do attitude, Gina instantly started exploring ways to develop her sewing skills.

She researched and watched many YouTube clips to see how to use a sewing machine and soon realised that this was something that she really wanted to make into a hobby.

Gina expressed to her SLES trainer, Ann-Marie, that her goal is to be able to sew well enough to be able fix her own clothes. Setting her sights high, Gina also aims to be able to use her sewing skills to create new looks for old dolls to then give as presents to her friends and family.

Supporting Trainees to Explore their Interests

Her SLES trainers invited Gina to bring in her sewing machine so that she could have support while she practices her sewing. Her trainers also suggested that once Gina is confident in sewing, there are many job opportunities to explore by channelling her passion and creative flair.

Gina had never thought that her new hobby could lead into possible employment and was very excited to find out more.

Work Experience

Afford staff arranged a visit to the ‘Sewing Section’ of Afford’s Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) in Prestons, where Gina spoke to the employees about their different roles and the sewing skills they needed to complete tasks.

She learnt about the plastic bags that were being made at the site and the different places they would go on to be used. The machinists also spoke to Gina about how they began at Afford and in progressed into their jobs. Everyone provided Gina with positive encouragement and told her to give it a go.

After this visit to the Prestons ADE, Gina has a new employment goal. Her goal is to work alongside the machinists and to take her hobby to the next level and work in the sewing section of Prestons ADE.

Gina is now participating in regular supported work experience in the ADE where she can build her sewing skills to prepare her for the workforce.

She realises that she will need to practice regularly and be committed to learning to be able to make the plastic bags as good and as quickly as those working on the sewing machines.

With the biggest smile on her face Gina said: “My first goal is to be able to use the foot pedal of the sewing machine more evenly, not super- fast then really slow.”

Afford proudly supports thousands of job-seekers explore their interests to find the right job for them. Find out more about Afford’s SLES program and Afford Employment opportunities by calling us on                1300 233 673 or filling out a Contact Us form on this website.