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Disability employment services

When you are starting to think about looking for employment, it is good to know there is lots of help available. You will find that you can access assistance through employment services that are open to all Australian citizens or you may be eligible for services that are designed specifically for people with a disability. Services designed to support people with a disability provide help at every stage of employment, including when you are looking for a job, during the application and selection process, and if needed, ongoing support in the workplace once you are in the job.

Sometimes it is not easy to know where to start gathering information. However it is important to take the time to research your options to make sure that the service you choose is the best fit for your individual needs.
If you are graduating from university or TAFE or are an employer you will find visiting the Education to Employment website is a good start. It contains lots of useful information on employment services you may want to use. There are many other places where you can find information about employment services and programs. The internet is a great place to further your research. We have listed useful websites below to help guide you.

Employment services and programs for people with a disability

Centrelink provides employment assistance and a range of services and programs for people with a disability to help with looking for work and planning for the future. This includes Workplace Modification Scheme, the Supported Wage System, allowances and services and programs for people with a disability. Often a referral from Centrelink is required to access other services. Assistance is also available for employers who are considering employing a person with a disability.

Disability Employment Services (DES) 
Disability Employment Services (DES) provide specialist assistance to job seekers with disabilities, injuries or ill health. DES is delivered by a network of organisations around Australia, and is funded by the Australian Government.

Disability Employment Services are uncapped, so that all eligible people with disability have immediate access to the service they need.  There are no waiting lists.

The DES has two distinct programs:

Employment Support Service - for job seekers with a permanent disability and with an assessed need for more long-term, regular ongoing support needs in the workplace.

Disability Management Service - for job seekers with a disability, injury or health condition who require the assistance of a disability employment service but who are not expected to need long-term support in the workplace.

Find a DES provider located near you

Australian Jobsearch - Jobsearch is an Australian government free service to assist job seekers into employment and connect employers with quality staff. It is Australia's largest free online job board. The site also makes it easy to search for specific employment services including disability employment services in your local area.

Job Access - Job Access is an information and advice service funded by the Australian Government. It offers help and workplace solutions for people with disability and their employers. Job Access is an initiative of the Australian Government to support the employment of people with disability. It is an easy to use web site and a free telephone information and advice service where you can access confidential, expert advice on disability employment matters.

Australian Network on Disability (for employers making a difference) - Australian Network on Disability (AND) is a member funded organisation that promotes and supports businesses that encourage people with a disability as employees, customers and suppliers. AND facilitates the Stepping into Program, which offers paid internships in a range of fields for tertiary students with a disability.

Jobactive - connects job seekers with employers and is delivered by a network of providers in over 1700 locations across Australia.

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) - NEIS is an initiative to assist unemployed people with a good business idea to run a viable business.

Australian Disability Enterprises - Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, Australian Disability Enterprises are commercial enterprises enabling people with moderate to severe disability to engage in a wide variety of work tasks such as packaging, assembly, production, recycling, screen printing, plant nursery, garden maintenance and landscaping, cleaning services, laundry services and food services.

Disability Employment Australia - is the peak body for Australia's Disability Employment Services. This site is for disability employment professionals, people with disability looking for specialised employment support and employers investigating the business benefits of employing people with disability. Provides access to hundreds of DES providers across the county who provide specialist assistance to job seekers with a disability or chronic medical condition who may require on going support to find and maintain employment.


You can find information about finding an apprenticeship and support for apprentices with a disability in the Apprenticeship section of this website

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