How do I get a job, or access employment supports?
JobAccess is the national hub for workplace and employment information for people with disability, employers and service providers.
The JobAccess page about Access for People with Disability links to lots information sheets about available support and many examples, including videos that showcase people with disability and their stories through talking about their employment arrangements, flexibility in the workplace, and support they have received in the workplace.
What are DES?
The Australian Government Disability Employment Services program, also known as DES, supports people with disability to find and keep a job by matching them to employers.
There are two parts to Disability Employment Services:
- Disability Management Services - they help job seekers with disability, injury or health conditions, find a job. They can also provide occasional support in the workplace.
- Employment Support Services - they help job seekers with permanent disability to find a job if they need regular, ongoing support in the workplace.
To find information about eligibility, participant choice and how DES can help people to find and maintain employment, visit this page of the Job Access website.
How to access DES
Jobseekers can access DES either through referral by the Department of Human Services (DHS)—generally for those receiving Centrelink payments that have Mutual Obligation or Compulsory Participation Requirements—or by directly registering with a DES provider of their choice
Participants can choose their preferred provider when they first enter the program. At an initial Centrelink appointment, DES participants will have an opportunity to review providers in their area, and choose the provider they feel best meets their needs. Participants are encouraged to review providers in their area on the JobAccess site, ahead of their Centrelink appointment. You can consider the star ratings and specialisations of different services at the JobSearch website.
DES in Canberra
APM Employment Services - Canberra City office (and Queanbeyan)
Max Employment - offices in Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Queanbeyan
LEAD - Canberra City office
Nexus Human Services - Braddon office
MatchWorks - offices in Braddon and Belconnen, Gugahlin and Tuggeranong
The Personnel Group - offices in Canberra City and Belconnen
CoAct/Workways Australia - Belconnen office
Salvation Army Employment Plus – offices in Canberra City, Woden and Belconnen
OCTEC – Belconnen office
annecto Inc – Belconnen office
MBC Employment Services - offices in Belconnen, Woden and Tuggeranong
Some DES are "Specialist Service Providers", with expertise in assisting a self-defined group of job seekers (for example, job seekers with hearing impairment, or young people).
Specialist DES in Canberra include:
Vision Australia provides support to people who are blind or have low vision
Koomarri provides support to people with intellectual disabilty
CoAct/MS Employment Support Services provides support for people living with Multiple Sclerosis
DES can also work with a people who already have a job but is having difficulty and needs assistance. Work Assist provides support to eligible employees who have difficulty fulfilling the essential requirements of their role due to their injury, disability or health condition.
Employment Assistance Fund
The Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) gives financial help to eligible people with disability and mental health conditions and employers to buy work related modifications, equipment, Auslan services and workplace assistance and support services. The EAF is available to eligible people with disability who are about to start a job, are self-employed or who are currently working. It is also available to people with disability who need Auslan assistance or special work equipment to look for and prepare for a job.
Find out more about EAF eligibility and workplace assessments on the JobAccess website.
National Disability Recruitment Coordinator
The National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC) is funded by the Australian Government to help larger employers access the skills and talents of people with disability. The NDRC can work with the employer to develop workplace policies and practices that accommodate people with disability.
The ACT Women’s Return to Work Program is an ACT Government initiative that assists women by helping them prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. The program is targeted at supporting ACT women looking to re-enter the workplace who face additional barriers to employment and training opportunities.
More information about the program is available here: https://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/women/programs/return-to-work-grants-program
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - Pathways to Employment
If you are an NDIS participant, and employment is one of your goals there may be supports you can include in your NDIS plan. Talk to your planner, support coordinator or Local Area Coordinator about your work goals.
For information about exploring work goals, visit the Thinking about Work page on the NDIS website and read the 'Let's talk about work' booklet.
School Leaver Employment Support
If you are a Year 12 student, School Leaver Employment Support (SLES) is a new NDIS support which may help you.
SLES is about giving you the skills and confidence to help you move from school to employment. It offers individualised support for up to two years after finishing year 12 to help you get ready for work and plan your pathway to employment.
SLES supports will be tailored to meet your individual employment goals. This may include:
- Work experience in open employment
- Job skills training
- Travel training
Ticket to Work program
Ticket to Work is a National initiative that leverages the power of cross-sectoral collaborative partnerships to improve employment outcomes for young people with disability. The initiative is coordinated through National Disability Services and delivered through Local Ticket to Work networks including schools, employment services, post school providers and employers. In Canberra, Koomarri is part of this network.
Local stories of work experience and getting a job
Samantha talks about employing Jack at Capital Chemist Charnwood, a story featured in the Employ their Ability campaign by JobAccess: Capitalising on a diverse workforce
Ruth's Story of working at Tilley's Cafe:
Jack's Story, including his job at Harris Scarfe and lawnmowing:
Carl's story of getting an internship at a radio station:
Ashleigh's story of a work placement in the mail room at Parliament House through the Ticket to Work program.
Kathryn and Peter work at the Ginninderry project office.
More stories are featured in the videos created by the Inclusion in Employment project.
Australian Government JobAccess website
DES - Other support available
The Complaints Resolution and Referral Service (CRRS) is a free service for people with disability who are users of Australian Government funded Disability Employment Services (DES) or Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) to raise issues and make a complaint