Navigating the NDIS can be daunting, especially if the NDIS marks the first time you or your loved one are accessing supports and services. That’s why we’ve created the NDIS 101 series. Inform’s NDIS 101 series aims to take some of the confusion out of understanding, accessing and using the NDIS by providing straightforward information and resources.

What is School Leaver Employment Supports or SLES?

School Leaver Employment Supports or SLES is an early intervention capacity building program designed to support young people with disabilities in the transition from school to employment. The program is targeted at young people in their final year of school. It aims to improve the employability of young people with disabilities by helping them to develop their job skills and improve their confidence and independence.

The goal of SLES is sustainable long-term employment for young people with disabilities. As well as developing job skills and building the confidence and aspirations of young people, SLES also works to build the capacity of young people to engage with and transition to Disability Employment Service (DES).

In addition, SLES works with schools to build pathways for young people with disabilities between school and work. For this reason, it’s worth engaging with SLES before you leave school. The NDIS can fund supports for up to two years.

What kind of supports are offered?

Providers who deliver SLES programs tailor supports specific to your individual needs and goals. They can deliver supports individually in one-on-one settings, in a group or a combination of both. These supports are outlined in service agreements and you can learn more about service agreements here.

Supports can include:

  • Activities that explore individual interests and skills
  • Specific skill development related to the field you want to work in
  • Work experience in that same field
  • Job training in the work environment
  • Communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Money handling skills
  • Travel training
Image is of a young white woman with long dark hair. She's standing, facing the camera, with her arms crossed and smiling. Out of focus behind her, three people sit around a table. A bookshelf runs down the way on the right hand side of the photo. NDIS 101 SLES
What can you expect of you SLES provider?

Your SLES provider will work with you to get you ready for work. In addition to planning pathways to employment, they can develop activity plans tailored to you and your interests and skills. These activity plans are outlined in the service agreement.

Providers should provide clear information about the services they deliver. They should also be able to explain how those services align with individual goals. In addition, the provider should be able to demonstrate good understanding of other supports available including subsidies. They should also demonstrate good connections with DES providers. And providers should be able to demonstrate how the supports and services they provide have been successful in helping young people with disabilities to meet their goals, gain skills and find sustainable employment. 

Before you sign up with a provider, it’s worth asking them some questions to make sure they’re the right fit for you.

Some questions to ask your provider include:
  • How many young people have you supported to find employment?
  • What opportunities for work experience will be available?
  • Do you offer one-on-one or group support?
  • What kinds of services and supports do you offer?
  • Do you offer flexible hours?
  • What will do to help me achieve goals my goals?
  • What supports would you recommend to help me reach my goals?
  • Is there an opportunity to visit and meet the people who I would be working with?
  • What sort of qualifications do your staff have?

Ready to read more? Try these Inform links:

Navigating disability as a tertiary student: a how-to guide

My autism journey: how I learned to stop trying to fit in

Resources and opportunities for disabled young people in Australia

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