Kylie helps students build skills for life

Kylie Hastings had been teaching and coaching maths and English for 20 years when she decided to start her own coaching business with the help of the NEIS program.

Kylie loved teaching maths and English to Year 3 – Year 9 students but she saw the content as a means to an end.

“No matter how important these skills are, it’s the confidence they get by achieving success that is invaluable. That confidence affects all areas of their lives,” Kylie said.

“I’d always wanted to have my own coaching business, but I never thought I’d ever do it. I’ve been on a disability benefit for many years, so I’d relegated the idea to the back of my mind, as a wish, a pipe-dream…”

Through a set of unfortunate circumstances, Kylie’s husband lost his job. His employment services provider suggested he undertake the NEIS program to start his own business, in garden design and lawn maintenance.

The NEIS program has been delivered by APM Employment Services since February 2020. It was previously delivered by Konekt Employment.

From 1 July 2022, Self-Employment Assistance replaced the NEIS program.

Kylie decided to go with him to assist him with keeping up in class and with computer skills.

“The facilitator, Jane Simmonds, immediately impressed me with her knowledge, ability to teach and communicate, and her enthusiasm for the program,”

Kylie said. “I found my dream of running my own business re-surfacing but this time with hope, the necessary support and a structured program that NEIS provided.”

After assisting her husband complete the NEIS program and seeing him get his business up and happening, Kylie decided to do the course herself.

She had just finished at her current place of employment so the timing was perfect.

“It was a lot of work and I nearly stopped at one stage, but I spoke to Jane about my fears and kept going. I’m so grateful that I did.

“I learnt how to get artwork to develop my own logo, produce quality business cards, marketing, speaking on the radio, how to set up my website and Facebook pages, writing an article that was published in (local Central Coast magazine) The Announcer, and even book-keeping.”

Today, Kylie’s business has been operating for four months, and she completely loves every day.

“It is the best feeling to wake up each day in charge of my own schedule. I work hard and put in the hours doing what I love – and earn money for it! – and best of all, I’m completely booked out,” Kylie said.

“I’ve learnt so much about business, and had the time to constantly develop my teaching skills. The time I spend consulting with my mentor each month is invaluable.”