Unlocking Future Potential!

Are you a school leaver or a parent of a student about to leave school? Have you heard about the NDIS School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) program? It may hold the key to unlocking your future potential and helping you navigate the transition from school to employment.

School leavers often face unique challenges when entering the workforce, but with the right support in place, they can tap into numerous employment opportunities and build a successful career. In this article, we will explore how NDIS SLES can support you or your child on this journey, providing the necessary guidance, resources, and funding to make a smooth transition.

From understanding the basics of SLES and its purpose to identifying eligible participants and tailoring personalised transition pathways, we will delve into the intricacies of the program. We will also discuss the crucial role that SLES providers play in delivering effective support and how success is measured through meaningful employment goals.

Discover how the NDIS SLES program can nurture your talent, boost your confidence, and create a world of opportunities as you embark on your exciting journey from school to employment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Under your NDIS plan, SLES offers school leavers valuable support in transitioning from school to employment.
  • SLES providers play a vital role in planning personalised pathways and developing essential personal and practical life skills (including confidence, budgeting, navigating public transport, teamwork and more) as well as transferring and building workplace skills like effective communication, teamwork and more.
  • Individual goals and progress monitoring are crucial in measuring success for each SLES participant.
  • Securing future employment opportunities goes beyond the SLES program and involves connecting with employment services and nurturing employer relationships. Often SLES participants will then transition to Disability Employment Services, to further support them into finding employment that suits them.
  • Through NDIS SLES, school leavers can gain the confidence and skills to find meaningful employment and a career path.

What is School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) and How Does It Work?

Exploring the Basics of SLES and Its Purpose

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) is a NDIS-funded program designed to assist young individuals with disabilities in successfully transitioning from school to employment. It aims to provide the necessary support and resources to equip school leavers with the skills and confidence needed to enter the workforce.

SLES is part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which plays a crucial role in funding and facilitating the SLES program. The NDIS recognises the importance of helping school leavers with disabilities access the necessary support services to achieve their employment goals.

Understanding NDIS’s Role in School Leaver Employment Supports

The NDIS provides funding for the SLES program, allowing participants to access a range of employment supports and services tailored to their individual needs. This funding covers various aspects of the transition process, including general life skills (e.g. confidence-building, communication, teamwork, budgeting etc), vocational training, job coaching, and assistance with resume writing and interview skills.

By investing in school leavers through SLES, the NDIS aims to empower young individuals with disabilities to develop their potential, explore career opportunities, and achieve meaningful employment outcomes.

The Process: How School Leavers Can Access SLES Funding

School leavers who are NDIS participants can access SLES funding by following a simple process. They need to:

  1. Identify their employment goals and aspirations.
  2. Discuss their goals with their NDIS planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC).
  3. Include their SLES funding requirements in their NDIS plan.
  4. Connect with SLES providers (like BUSY Ability) who can offer the necessary supports and services.
  5. Work with their chosen SLES provider to develop a personalised plan and access the funded supports.

Through this process, school leavers can access the support they need to navigate the challenges of transitioning from school to employment and increase their chances of securing sustainable and meaningful work.

Identifying Eligible Participants for NDIS SLES Funding

In order to access NDIS School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) funding, it is important to understand the eligibility criteria. This section will outline who qualifies for School Leaver Employment Supports and highlight the role of individual goals in determining eligibility.

Who Qualifies for School Leaver Employment Supports?

School Leaver Employment Supports is available to individuals who meet specific criteria set by the NDIS. To qualify for SLES funding, participants must be:

  • a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS);
  • a school leaver transitioning from Year 10 or above; and
  • between the ages of 16 and 22.

These eligibility criteria ensure that SLES is targeted towards individuals who are at a crucial stage in their lives where they are preparing to enter the workforce.

The Criteria: Defining ‘Eligible’ in the Context of SLES

When it comes to School Leaver Employment Supports, the term ‘eligible’ refers to individuals who meet the necessary requirements to receive funding. The NDIS has set specific criteria to determine eligibility, which includes being a participant in the scheme, transitioning from school, and meeting the age criteria.

It is important to note that eligibility for SLES funding does not automatically guarantee access to SLES supports. Participants must have an individualised plan that outlines their goals and the support they require to achieve those goals.

The Importance of Individual Goals in Determining Eligibility

Individual goals play a significant role in determining eligibility for SLES funding. The NDIS considers the participant’s goals and aspirations when assessing their eligibility for support. This ensures that the right level of support is provided to an individual to help them achieve their desired outcomes.

By setting individual goals, participants can identify their specific needs and the areas in which they require support. These goals act as a roadmap for their SLES journey and influence the type of employment support they receive.

Overall, the eligibility criteria for NDIS SLES funding are designed to assist school leavers in their transition to employment. By considering individual goals and aspirations, SLES aims to provide targeted support that empowers participants to achieve their full potential in the workforce.

From School to Employment: Tailoring the Transition Pathway

Transitioning from school to employment is a significant milestone for young individuals with disabilities. It requires careful planning and support to ensure a smooth and successful transition. This section will explore how the transition pathway can be tailored to meet the unique needs and goals of school leavers, with the assistance of SLES providers.

Planning a Personalised Pathway with SLES Providers

One of the key roles of SLES providers, like BUSY Ability, is to work closely with school leavers to develop a personalised pathway towards employment. Providers have the expertise to assess individual strengths and interests, and to identify suitable career options. By understanding the unique abilities and aspirations of each participant, SLES providers can create a tailored plan that maximises their potential for successful employment.

In collaboration with school leavers, SLES providers assist in setting achievable goals and mapping out the necessary steps to reach them. This may include identifying training opportunities, arranging work experience placements, and exploring potential job openings. By creating a personalised pathway, SLES providers enhance the school leavers’ chances of finding and keeping a job that aligns with their skills and interests.

Developing Essential Skills for the Workplace through SLES

Successfully transitioning from school to employment requires the development of essential workplace skills. SLES programs offer a range of activities and supports aimed at equipping school leavers with the necessary knowledge and capabilities to thrive in the workplace.

Through SLES, participants have the opportunity to enhance their communication skills, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, and time management. They can also develop specific vocational skills relevant to their chosen career path. SLES providers facilitate training sessions, workshops, and practical experiences that focus on these crucial workplace competencies, ensuring participants are well-prepared for the demands of employment.

Building Confidence and Capacity: Key Outcomes of Effective Transition Programs

An effective transition program, such as SLES, not only enables the acquisition of workplace skills but also fosters confidence and builds capacity for young individuals with disabilities.

By providing a supportive and inclusive environment, SLES programs empower school leavers to believe in their abilities and strengths. This confidence enables them to overcome barriers and challenges that may arise during their transition journey. SLES providers offer tailored guidance, coaching, and mentorship to help participants develop a positive mindset and self-belief.

Moreover, effective transition programs promote capacity building by encouraging participants to explore their potential, set ambitious goals, and strive for personal growth. These programs cultivate resilience, adaptability, and determination in school leavers, ensuring they are equipped with the necessary attributes to navigate the complexities of the workforce.

Overall, by tailoring the transition pathway, SLES providers play a vital role in facilitating a successful journey from school to employment for young individuals with disabilities. Through personalised planning, development of essential skills, and fostering confidence and capacity, SLES programs empower school leavers to unlock their full potential to finding and keeping work.

The Role of Providers in Delivering Effective SLES

What Makes a Good SLES Provider?

Effectively delivering School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) requires providers that possess certain qualities and capabilities. A good SLES provider should:

  • Have a deep understanding of the unique needs and aspirations of school leavers
  • Offer tailored support and guidance based on individual goals and abilities
  • Possess strong connections and partnerships with employers and the local community
  • Provide comprehensive assistance in skill development, job readiness, and employment placement
  • Demonstrate a commitment to ongoing professional development and staying up-to-date with industry trends

Provider Quarterly Reports: Monitoring Progress and Outcomes

Monitoring the progress and outcomes of SLES participants is vital to ensure the effectiveness of the program. SLES providers are required to submit quarterly reports that detail the progress and achievements of each participant. These reports enable monitoring of individual goals, identify areas for improvement, and measure the overall success of the program. Regular monitoring allows providers to make timely adjustments and provide ongoing support tailored to the needs of school leavers.

Utilising the Provider Reporting Tool for Enhanced Service Delivery

To enhance service delivery and streamline reporting, SLES providers can utilise a provider reporting tool. This tool simplifies the reporting process, making it easier for providers to track participant progress, outcomes, and support interventions. The tool enables providers to generate comprehensive reports that highlight key performance indicators, outcomes achieved, and areas requiring further attention. By leveraging this reporting tool, SLES providers can efficiently monitor progress, improve decision-making, and ensure the delivery of high-quality services.

Measuring Success: Goals and Outcomes for School Leavers

In order to gauge the success of School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES), it is crucial to set realistic and meaningful employment goals for school leavers. By doing so, we can measure the outcomes achieved and ensure that the program is effectively supporting young people with disabilities on their journey from school to the workforce.

Setting Realistic and Meaningful Employment Goals

When setting goals for school leavers, it is important to consider their individual strengths, skills, and interests. By aligning the goals with their abilities and aspirations, we can ensure that they are motivated and engaged throughout the process. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), providing a clear roadmap for success.

For example, a school leaver with an interest in hospitality may set a goal to obtain part-time employment at a local café within six months of completing the SLES program. This goal is specific (part-time employment), measurable (within six months), achievable (based on their interest and skills), relevant (aligned with their career aspirations), and time-bound (within a specific timeframe).

The Journey from School to Work: Stories of Success

One of the most powerful ways to measure the success of SLES is through the stories of individuals who have benefited from the program. By sharing these success stories, we can highlight the positive outcomes achieved and inspire other school leavers with disabilities.

“SLES has been instrumental in helping me transition from school to work. With their support, I was able to secure a full-time job in the automotive industry, which has always been my passion. I am now working towards long-term career growth and have gained the confidence to pursue my goals.” – Mark, SLES participant

Mark’s story exemplifies the impact of SLES in facilitating a successful transition from school to work. By featuring more success stories like Mark’s, we can showcase the tangible and meaningful outcomes that can be achieved through the program.

Kaleb is another participant of the SLES program who found meaningful employment after leaving school. Under the SLES program, Kaleb was supported by BUSY Ability and placed into work with Australian Spatial Analytics (ASA), a company that provides geo-mapping and know the benefits of hiring people with autism as they can often excel at data analytics.

“BUSY Ability really helped me with setting up my resume and developing my interview skills. I’m now working permanent part time, four days a week, and I’m really enjoying the work at ASA”.

Read more about Kaleb’s story.

How SLES Supports Long-Term Employment Outcomes for Young People with Disabilities

The SLES program goes beyond just immediate employment outcomes. It aims to equip young people living with disability with the skills, confidence, and support necessary for long-term employment success. By providing tailored training, workplace experience, and ongoing support, SLES sets participants on a path towards finding and keeping a job.

For example, SLES participants may receive training in essential workplace skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management. They may also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through internships or work experience placements, allowing them to apply their skills in real-world settings. This comprehensive support system ensures that participants are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in their professional journeys.

In conclusion, measuring the success of SLES requires setting realistic and meaningful employment goals, sharing stories of success, and recognising the long-term outcomes achieved by young people with disabilities. By actively tracking and evaluating these factors, we can continue to enhance the effectiveness of the program and empower more school leavers on their path to long-term employment success.

Securing the Future: Employment Opportunities Post-School

This section focuses on securing future employment opportunities for school leavers beyond the SLES program. It explores diverse employment pathways that are available and emphasises the importance of connecting with employment services and disability employment providers. The section also highlights the role of nurturing employer relationships to create opportunities for participants.

Exploring Diverse Employment Pathways for School Leavers

After completing the SLES program, school leavers have a range of diverse employment pathways to explore. These pathways are tailored to individual skills, interests, and abilities, ensuring that each participant can find a fulfilling and rewarding career. Some of the diverse employment pathways include:

  • Apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Supported employment
  • Further education and vocational training
  • Self-employment or entrepreneurship

Connecting with Employment Services and Disability Employment Service Providers

To access a wide range of employment opportunities, it is crucial for school leavers to connect with disability employment service providers. These organisations specialise in supporting individuals with disabilities in their journey to secure meaningful employment. They offer tailored guidance, job search assistance, and skills development programs to ensure the best possible outcomes for participants.

BUSY Ability is a registered Disability Employment Services provider and contracted by the Australian Government.

Nurturing Employer Relationships to Create Opportunities for Participants

A key aspect of securing employment opportunities for school leavers is nurturing strong relationships with employers. Disability Employment Services providers work closely with employers to promote inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. By fostering these relationships, providers can create more job opportunities for participants and support employers in understanding the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities.

Employers who partner with Disability Employment Services providers gain access to a pool of talented and diverse candidates who can bring unique perspectives and skills to their workforce. Through ongoing collaboration, providers can advocate for the inclusion of school leavers with disabilities and create a supportive and inclusive work environment.

Benefits of Nurturing Employer Relationships

How Relationships Are Nurtured

Increased job opportunities for participants

Regular communication with employers

Promotion of workplace diversity and inclusion

Providing employers with disability awareness training

Creation of supportive work environments

Facilitating workplace accommodations for participants

Long-term partnerships that benefit both parties

Attending job fairs and networking events


In conclusion, the NDIS School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) program plays a crucial role in supporting school leavers on their journey from school to employment. By providing funding and personalised support, SLES helps young people with disabilities unlock their future potential and successfully transition into the workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is NDIS SLES funding, and who is eligible for it?

A: NDIS School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) funding is designed to assist young people with disability in moving from school to employment. Eligible NDIS participants are typically those planning to leave school or who have recently left school and are looking to transition into the workforce. Eligibility is determined by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) based on the individual’s NDIS plan and goals.

Q: How can SLES help students who are leaving school?

A: SLES offers a range of supports to help students move from school to employment. These include travel training to increase independence, skills for employment such as resume writing and interview preparation, and individualised support to find and keep a job. The goal is to build the participant’s confidence and readiness for the workforce.

Q: What types of disability services can a NDIS provider offer under SLES?

A: A NDIS provider can offer various disability services under SLES, tailored to the individual’s needs. This could include one-on-one support to develop a pathway to employment, group training sessions focused on building employment skills, and practical experience placements to gain real-world job exposure. Providers aim to offer a holistic approach to support participants’ transition into employment.

Q: How do you get ready for work with the help of NDIS services under SLES?

A: To get ready for work with the help of NDIS services under SLES, participants will engage in personalised supports and preparation activities designed to build their employment capabilities. This can include job exploration, understanding workplace responsibilities, developing social skills for the workplace, and participating in supported internships or work placements to gain hands-on experience.

Q: Can NDIS SLES funding be used for travel training?

A: Yes, NDIS SLES funding can be used for travel training as part of the individualised supports to increase a participant’s independence and mobility. Travel training helps participants learn how to navigate public transport safely and confidently, which is an essential skill for gaining independence and accessing employment opportunities.

Q: How is the support from a NDIS provider individualised for each student in the final years of school?

A: The support from a NDIS provider is individualised for each student based on their specific goals, needs, and aspirations. Providers conduct thorough assessments to understand the participant’s strengths, interests, and areas where they may need additional support. From there, they create a personalised plan that includes targeted activities and supports focused on ensuring a smooth transition from school to employment.

Q: What is the importance of building confidence and skills for employment before leaving school?

A: Building confidence and skills for employment before leaving school is crucial for young people with disability. It ensures they are better prepared and more resilient as they enter the competitive job market. This preparation includes understanding workplace culture, developing specific job-related skills, and learning how to navigate challenges. It sets a strong foundation for their future employment pathways.

Q: Can SLES funding support year 12 students to find a job individually?

A: Yes, SLES funding can support Year 12 students to find a job individually by offering one-on-one tailored support to explore their employment options, develop job-seeking skills, and apply for suitable positions. This personalised approach focuses on matching participants with jobs that align with their interests and capabilities, providing them with the best chance of employment success.


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