Education to Employment Education to Employment

Section 9: What services and programs are available to support graduates with disability and their employers?

The table below provides a brief summary of the services and programs most relevant to students making the move from education to employment, graduates with disability, and their employers. 
Name of Program What is it and where can I get more information?
Job Access

JobAccess is a government program that provides over‐the‐phone and web‐based information and advice to job seekers, employees & employers regarding disability employment.

Reference: as cited on 31 May 2010



Centrelink is the government agency that provides payments and services to Australians on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.

Centrelink is a critical part of job seekers getting access to government funded employment services, including disability specialist employment services. To get access to Disability Employment Services and Job Services Australia (see below for details on service types) you need to contact Centrelink, they will then arrange an assessment of your current situation which will make a recommendation of the type of service best suited to your needs.

Reference: as cited on 31 May 2010


Disability Employment Service (DES)

Disability Employment Services are specialist employment services funded by the Department of Social Services to provide people with a disability who require either short-term or ongoing support to find and maintain employment or to become self employed in the open labour market.

There are 2 separate types of DES programs, including

Disability Management Service for job seekers with disability, injury or health conditions who require the assistance of a Disability Employment Service but are not expected to need long-term support in the workplace; and

Employment Support Service for job seekers with permanent disability and with an assessed need for long-term support in the workplace. :

DES providers are also available to help employers with recruitment and retention of employees with disability, including:

  • Recruitment advice and job matching
  • Help with job design for employees with disability
  • On-the-job or off-site support to ensure new employees with disability settle into their job
  • Ongoing support for employees and employers who need support to maintain employment
  • Training information and awareness activities for employers and staff and
  • Help for employees whose job may be in jeopardy as a result of their disability.

DES providers can also assist employers to access incentive programs such as Wage Subsidy Scheme and Supported Wage System (where situation meets the eligibility criteria).

References: 'An Employer's Guide to Employing Someone With Disability'; and 'Disability Employment Services, Flexible, Tailored Employment Assistance' by the Australian Government (2010)

Website: (under find a provider)

Employment Assistance Fund

Employment Assistance Fund is a government program which provides financial assistance to individuals looking for or already in work, employers, and Disability Employment Services. It can pay for services including workplace modifications, and Auslan (sign language) interpreting services for job interviews and work related activities.

Reference: 'An Employer's Guide to Employing Someone With Disability' by the Australian Government (2010)


Supported Wage System

Supported Wage System is a program administered through the Disability Employment Services (see above) which allows employers to pay a productivity-based or 'pro-rata' wage that matches an independently assessed productivity rate of the employee with disability.

Reference: as cited on 4 May 2010


Wage Subsidy Scheme

Wage Subsidy Scheme is a program administered through the Disability Employment Services (see above) which can provide financial assistance through wage subsidies to employers who employ Disability Employment Services participants. This subsidy can also be used to help fund initial costs involved in getting the person settled into a new job placement.

Reference: as cited on 4 May 2010



JobActive providers are funded by the Department of Employment to deliver assistance for disadvantaged job seekers, including people with disability. The types of support that a JobActive provider can offer a job seeker, include assistance with:

  • Resume writing
  • Access to job search facilities (such as internet, telephone, etc)
  • Access to work-related training and/or additional qualifications
  • Finding work-experience opportunities
  • Overcoming and managing employment barriers
  • Financial assistance with work-related clothing or safety equipment; short-term travel costs; and/or relocation costs to start new employment.

Some Job Services Australia providers specialise in support to job seekers with disability. They also assist employers by providing:

  • Recruitment services
  • Referral of job seekers to employer's vacancies
  • Skills training for job seekers relevant to an employer's business
  • Access to the Australian Government's free online JobSearch database and
  • Access to wage assistance and subsidies for ongoing work opportunities (where situation meets the eligibility criteria).

Reference: 'An Employer's Guide to Employing Someone With Disability' by the Australian Government (2010)


New Enterprise Incentive Scheme

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme assists eligible job seekers to start and run a small business of their own. The scheme provides accredited small business training, business advice, mentoring and ongoing income support and rental assistance for up to 52 weeks.

To access the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme you must be registered with a JobActive provider.

Reference: 'Help to Start a Small Business: New Enterprise Incentive Scheme'(2010) by the Australian Government and as cited 31 May 2010


Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support

Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS) Tutorial, Mentor and Interpreter Services is a government program that provides financial incentives to employers and helps provide tutorial, mentor and interpreter support to apprentices/trainees who have a disability


National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC)

The National Disability Recruitment Coordinator is funded by the Department of Social Services to assist large employers where they may find working with multiple local employment services difficult. The NDRC links large employers with Disability Employment Services to help establish working relationships between them.

The NDRC works with large employers ( >100 staff) and Disability Employment Services to:

  • Promote the employment of people with disability
  • Help large employers recruit staff with disability
  • Disseminate vacancies and provide pre-screening service of potential candidates and
  • Give employers advice and support.

Reference: 'An Employer's Guide to Employing Someone With Disability' by the Australian Government (2010)


National Disability Coordination Officer Program

National Disability Coordination Officer Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training to improve the coordination and delivery of local support services to help make it easier for people with disability to enrol and participate in post-school education, training and employment.


Career Services in Australian universities and TAFE's

Career Services in Australian Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training providers offer an extensive range of on-line and on-campus career development and employment programs and services for students, and in some instances recent (usually up to 12 months) graduates. The services and activities offered throughout the year typically include:

  • Job vacancy information
  • Information and resources
  • Consultations to assist with course planning, career planning and making the transition to graduate employment
  • Workshops in areas such as career planning, job searching, job applications, resume writing and interview skills
  • Career development programs such as industry-based mentoring programs
  • On-campus events such as employer presentations, careers fairs and networking functions and
  • On-campus employer interviews.

References: and as cited on 31 May 2010

Search for career services in your local institutions website.

Stepping Into Program by Australian Network on Disability

'Stepping Into….' Program is operated by a not-for-profit non-government organisation called the Australian Network on Disability. The Stepping Into Program is a paid internship program designed specifically for university students with disability, including in the following professions:

  • Law
  • Business and Commerce
  • Marketing Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Public Policy & Research
  • Accounting
  • Human Resources

The program provides a 'step into' practical work experience for students with disability who may otherwise face significant barriers to find employment. The program runs for 4 weeks during semester breaks (or longer depending on needs of student for the equivalent of 152 hours).

Reference: as cited on 4 May 2010



Personnel Agencies (also known as recruitment consultants, employment agencies, etc) are commercial profit making businesses who recruit and select new staff on behalf of an employer. Employers pay these companies to advertise, interview, check referees and make a short list of potential candidates.

Often Personnel Agencies specialise their services to specific industries.

These agencies do not have any particular expertise in employees with disability, however increasingly employers are asking Personnel Agencies to recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds, including people with disabilities.

Try an internet search under 'recruitment agencies'