New Roads Of Opportunity For Young Job Seekers

  • In short:
    Three DES participants completed a Learner Driver Course facilitated by Castle Cessnock, helping them obtain their learner's licences.
  • Blake, Liam, and Kylie overcame personal challenges with individual support from Castle staff and trainer Kylie.
  • The participants are now working towards achieving their full driver's licences, opening up greater employment and independence opportunities.

    Get in touch to learn more about the training and tools we can provide job seekers.


Castle participants Kylie, Liam and Blake proudly displaying their newly achieved learner driver's licences.

Collaboration Success

In a story of successful collaboration, three Disability Employment Service job seekers at Castle Cessnock achieved a significant milestone in their lives by obtaining their learner driver's licences.

Castle proudly hosted a Learner Driver Course with Gordon Driver Licensing Program, a state government-funded initiative providing free support to disadvantaged communities to obtain their licence. Blake, Liam and Kylie were successful obtaining their driver's licences as they worked through personal challenges and individual circumstances.

Blake, an early school leaver with mental health and intellectual disabilities, had previously faced setbacks in passing his learner's test. Liam has been with Castle since July 25, 2022. With mental health barriers, Blake had to rely on his mother for transport, limiting his ability to be independent, including having reliable transport for work opportunities. Kylie, on the other hand, faced extreme anxiety and a lack of self-confidence. 

With the encouragement of Castle staff, each participant enrolled in the Learner Driver course at our Cessnock site, receiving individualised from the driver trainer as well as the Castle team.  The training program of sessions took place over three days, during which the participants studied and practised for their tests. Their dedication and resilience was evident when they confidently sat for their exams at Service NSW, with Castle staff present for encouragement. All three participants successfully passed the test, proudly obtaining their learner's licences.

Getting my licence and having employment has opened up a lot of things for me and it helps get me out of the house more. I want to travel to all the well known sites in Australia like the Big Banana and travel to Melbourne to meet online friends.


'Transport Disadvantage' and youth employment

National Youth Commission Australia describes 'transport disadvantage' as limited access to transport arising from poor or unaffordable public transport options, the prohibitive cost of running a vehicle, and the time-consuming requirements of obtaining a driver's licence. This especially impacts young people, who traditionally earn less, are often simultaneously taking part in education, and rely on family support to obtain their licence. This disadvantage can be further exacerbated in rural and regional areas of Australia.

The 2021 report identifies a clear relationship between transport disadvantage and reduced employment opportunities among young people. Many jobs include a requirement for staff to have a car and licence, even if it is not inherently needed for the role. Jobs can be mobile or take place at varied locations, like trade apprenticeships. Public transport routes can also be ineffective, unreliable, or not located near many jobs, such as industrial areas.

Transport disadvantage and unemployment can exacerbate a cycle of disadvantage, where a young person can't get a job without transport, but can't afford to purchase a car or pay for a licence without a job.


New roads of opportunity

Obtaining a driver's licence marks a significant step toward independence for many of our participants, opening up new opportunities for job seekers and greater access to a wide range of job prospects. With their learner licences in hand, Blake, Liam, and Kylie are now working towards earning their provisional and full on-road licences so that they can explore new employment prospects, commute independently, and navigate their communities with newfound confidence.


We were thrilled to witness the accomplishments of Blake, Liam, and Kylie, and celebrated their achievement together. They each showed incredible dedication and resilience, and their success marks a significant step toward greater independence and future opportunities.
Melissa, Castle Employment Support Officer