Beyond school

Entering the workplace

Entering the workplace after school

Ideally, the year before leaving school, it is important to consider all your options in regard to gaining work and if you need to gain further skills and/or work experience or feel ready to go straight into the workforce.

This can be full-time, part-time or as a volunteer.

Once you know which path is best for you, then you can take the next step.

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES)

SLES is funding for young people leaving school and is provided as part of an NDIS plan. This funding is used to gain workplace skills and experience. There are many SLES programs offered by disability service providers. SLES funding can be used for up to two years.

Read about School Leaver Employment Supports on the NDIS website here.

NDIS Finding And Keeping A Job

NDIS participants who have an employment goal as part of their plan, may be able to access funding as part of their Capacity Building budget. Employment is one of the eight support sub-categories within Capacity Building.

Funding can be used for employment assessment, to pay for counselling, or for individualised services to assist you with finding and keeping a job.

This is something to discuss with your Local Area Coordinator or planner.

Disability Employment Services (DES)

DES providers are separate from the NDIS. They assist people with disability to find and retain a job.. If you have a disability and are not currently working, you are eligible for DES support.

Once you have chosen a DES provider. You will be assisted initially to create a resume and to search for suitable jobs. You can expect to do some interview skills training and may be assisted to gain some unpaid work experience.

DES providers can help you apply for jobs and get in touch with employers to discuss your application. Once you start a job, the DES providershould continue to liaise with your employer to ensure the job works out well for everyone.

JobAccess is the main Australian information source for work and employment information. It has been created for people with disability, their employers and for service providers.

Find the very comprehensive JobAccess website here.

Click here to find your local DES providers.

JobAccess telephone advice line: 1800 464 800

Just a quick note for those who are still at school. Did you know that DES providers can help you find a part-time job? Having a part-time job in the teenage years is an excellent way to prepare you for working life after school.

Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) and Social Enterprises

Australians who have moderate to high support needs in the workplace can access Supported Employment. This means going to work for organisations, usually non-profit organisations and social enterprises, which can offer enhanced employment supports.

These organisations act as commercial businesses, offering many different types of services both to companies and individuals. The work can be in areas like: document scanning, sewing, mailing and gardening, plus many more. Supported Employment can also offer training and work experience.

Supported Employment participants may have funding to support their work included in their NDIS plan. Contact your planner or Local Area Co-ordinator to discuss this.

Find ADEs and social enterprises in your area on the Buyability Social Enterprises website, Buyability is an NDIS initiative, funded by the Department of Social Services.

Further reading

Autism Launchpad is an Australian website aimed at young autistic people who are preparing to leave school. There is a comprehensive section about work which covers:

  • Career advice
  • Part-time work at school
  • Volunteering and work experience
  • Getting a job
  • Open employment
  • Supported employment
  • Self-employment
  • Workplace skills
autism what next logo

The Finding, keeping and changing jobs page on the NDIS website has sections to on:

  • Thinking about work
  • Leaving school
  • Volunteering
  • Let’s Talk about work
  • Getting job ready
  • Already working or returning to work

myWAY Employability helps autistic young people to take control of their future and prepare for working life.