Lachlan's Leap: From NDIS School Leaver to Successful Employment

  • In short:
    In his final year of school NDIS participant Lachlan engaged with Castle for support to explore his career options.
  • NDIS Support Worker Nadia helped build Lachlan's job readiness skills and organise a job trial at a local pub.
  • Lachlan's work experience led to a paid position at the pub, with Castle's Employment team also supporting.

    Get in touch to learn more about Castle's school leavers programs


Castle NDIS participant Lachlan pouring a beer on shift at Morpeth's Commercial Hotel.

Destined for Success

Lachlan is an inspiring and determined young man, with dreams of a career as a barber. The Hunter local, who lives with autism, is at an exciting yet daunting time of his life – transitioning from school into the wider world.

Initially, he had concerns about life after finishing school;

"I had no clue about the career path I was going to choose."

However, Lachlan has had a keen eye on his future for some time, completing a barber skills introductory course whilst still at school, and identifying hospitality as an industry he would also love to work in.

In his final year of school, Lachlan engaged with Castle seeking to use his NDIS plan to work towards his goal of preparing for life after school, by building his job readiness skills and exploring career options.

In July 2023 he enrolled in Castle’s NDIS Job Readiness SLES program (School Leaver Employment Supports) with a key focus on exploring his career options, building independence and maintaining social connection.

a person sitting at a table with a laptopa person standing next to a carSupported by NDIS Support Worker Nadia, Lachlan worked his way through the job readiness modules, such as using search engines, making, writing a resume and applying for jobs. Demonstrating his determination, he was also able to completed various certifications, such as his white card, RSA, RCG, and passing his driving test to gain his provisional driver’s license, all whilst still attending school.

By October 2023, Lachlan was applying for various positions in the workforce, and reached the final round of interviews for a role with Port Stephen’s Council. Although he didn’t secure the job, this marked a significant milestone in his journey, demonstrating his growing confidence and ability to compete in the job market. December 2023 marked another achievement as Lachlan completed Year 12, earning his HSC and obtaining his first aid and CPR certification.

Having completed all the job readiness modules, Lachlan began to actively seek work experience in his dream job, distributing his resume to local businesses, aiming to gain hands-on knowledge in either the barber or hospitality industries. Amazingly he was successful in earning a work experience job trial position at a local pub, the Commercial Hotel in Morpeth.

To give Lachlan the best opportunity to let his skills shine, support worker Nadia accompanied him during the trial, providing assistance with transport, task training and liaising with the employer on supporting Lachlan’s abilities.

Photo4Photo2After a short period learning the ropes and performing duties such as serving customers, pouring beers, and collecting glasses and plates—including a very busy Anzac Day—Lachlan was delighted to learn he had secured ongoing paid employment at the pub. This achievement stands out as a major milestone in his journey, marking his successful transition from school to the workforce.

Support Worker Nadia commented on the change in Lachlan over such a short period of time;

"Lachlan has been able to build and gain so much more confidence in regard to himself and also when speaking to other people. The transformation in Lachlan’s confidence and social skills since he began with Castle is remarkable. Initially shy and reserved, he is now outgoing and self-assured, ready to tackle new challenges.”
Nadia, Castle Disability Support Worker


Following this incredible success, Lachlan is now also supported by Castle's Disability Employment Services team, specifically Employment Support Officer Jasmine. Jasmine’s role is to ensure Lachlan has the best chance of long-term success. Support can include access to funding for assistive technology, workplace modifications, subsidies and incentives for employers, and ongoing support for employees, like Lachlan, for as long as needed.

With both NDIS Support Worker Nadia and Employment Services Officer Jasmine by his side, the future looks bright for Lachlan.

Reflecting on his journey to employment, Lachlan shared;

"Just to enjoy the career path you choose. Job readiness training also unlocks the ability to earn money and confidently interact with people and make friends."

His journey with Castle has equipped him with the skills, confidence, and determination to achieve his goals. We are confident that Lachlan will continue to thrive and succeed in his chosen career path.

Congratulations, Lachlan, on all your achievements so far. Your hard work, dedication, and unwavering spirit are truly inspiring. We look forward to seeing all the great things you will accomplish in the future!