Everyone’s goal when they finish school is to either further their education or go out and find a job. If you’re a person with a disability or have a family member finishing school who has a disability, there can be added challenges to face. Finding a job can be tough even in the best of circumstances. Having a disability can make the task even more challenging.

There is support out there for school leavers with disabilities though, and that’s what we are going to focus on in this article.

You’ll learn what type of support is available to you and how to take advantage of it so you can find work once the school years are over.

Take Advantage of DES (Disability Employment Services)

Anyone with a disability, school leaver or not, can take advantage of a government initiative known simply as DES, or Disability Employment Services.

Before you can be accepted for assistance under the DES scheme, you must first go through an assessment process. This is large to determine how many hours of work per week you are capable of performing. If it’s deemed you can work at least 8 hours or more over a 2 year period, this will open the door for you to register for DES ESL or DES Eligible School Leaver.

To be accepted for DES ESL assistance, you must be considered, after the assessment, as being a job-ready school leaver who is ready to enter the workforce.

You can learn more about DES from this government website.

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES)

This is another government initiative that specifically targets school leavers with a disability. Often simply referred to as SLES, the School Leaver Employment Supports scheme is well worth looking into before the school year finishes. It’s a part of the government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

NDIS and SLES combine to offer school leavers with disabilities all the support they need to first find a job and then keep that job.

During the final year of school, participants in the SLES scheme will be provided with assistance to get them ready for the job market once school finishes. This leads to a much smoother and streamlined transition from the school years into the workforce. It’s all about being prepared for your employment future.

You will be put through activities that enhance your capacity to work once school is over, along with assistance in finding employment when the time comes.

If you’re accepted for and participate in the SLES scheme, NDIS funds the program for up to two years. You will have the opportunity to learn new skills to help you get a job. Along with this, you’ll discover time management techniques, learning how to communicate effectively, and possibly even enter into a work experience program to give you hands-on experience.

The idea of NDIS and SLES is to offer support that is ongoing, and this includes family members and carers as well as the person with the disability.

It’s all about finding a job and keeping that job. Your support network will work with you and potential employers, as well as overseeing your employment once you do have a job.

School leavers with disabilities have very specific needs and face certain challenges, so SLES was developed to help overcome these difficulties.

Team Up With a Jobactive Provider

One way you can take advantage of NDIS and SLES is through a Jobactive provider. These are government initiatives that provide support for all job seekers, including those with disabilities. You can access a Jobactive provider in your area through Centrelink.

Not only will your designated Jobactive provider oversee the SLES scheme you are in, but they will also act as your support network in a number of other ways as well. This includes things like:

  • Liaising with employers on your behalf
  • Giving you access to courses and training
  • Self-development programs
  • Access to office equipment
  • And more…

Your Jobactive provider can also line up work experience jobs for you, along with interview training, preparing resumes and various other handy skills.

The Wrap

Having a disability when you leave school doesn’t mean it’ll be impossible to find work. Take full advantage of the support networks out there and you’ll soon find yourself gainfully employed.

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