Employment services and programs for young people with additional needs

Aspect Capable
This employment service for jobseekers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is run by Autism Spectrum Australia. It works with employers to connect individuals to employment opportunities. It has a mentoring program and a School Leaver Employment Supports service program to help young people with ASD find and prepare for employment.

Australian Government – National Disability Coordination Officer Program
The Australian Government’s National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program helps people with disability access and participate in tertiary education and subsequent employment. It does this through a national network of regionally based NDCOs. There are NDCOs around Australia.

Australian Government New Business Assistance
The Australian Government’s New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) offers training, mentoring and financial support to people who are interested in starting and running their own businesses.

Australian Network on Disability
This is a group of understanding and proactive employers who are looking for the talent of employees with disability. It runs internships and mentoring programs for jobseekers with disability.

Autism Spectrum Australia Launchpad – Work
Launchpad is a resource for young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are about to leave school and start adult lives. Launchpad also includes information for families. Launchpad’s Work section helps young people navigate pathways into the workplace.

Disability Employment Services (DES)
These agencies provide free services to help job seekers with additional needs get ready for and find work. They can help your child with things like writing a resumé or practising for job interviews. They might also run training programs and offer School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) services.

Each DES is different and you and your child can choose which one to use. It’s a good idea to do some research to find the best one for your child. A disability peak body might be able to suggest a DES to suit your child.

It’s helpful to contact a few DESs. You could ask questions like:

  • Have you had previous success in finding jobs for people with similar needs to my child?
  • What support can you provide for someone with my child’s needs?
  • Do you provide training to learn workplace skills?
  • How do you conduct job searches?
  • Do you have links with particular employers?
  • How many clients does each consultant work with?
  • What support can you give my child once he’s started work?

Job Jumpstart
This online career planning tool can help people look for jobs, build careers, and do well at work.

This is a social network for professionals, which many employers use to post jobs and look for suitable candidates. It could be a good idea to help your child set up a LinkedIn profile and connect with understanding employers in her area of interest.

National Disability Insurance Scheme – Employment
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funds reasonable and necessary supports to help people with disability reach goals throughout life, including employment goals.

School Leaver Employment Supports
School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) is an early intervention approach for Year 12 school leavers. It’s designed to support transition from school to employment. Providers help young people prepare for and find work.

SLES is funded under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). SLES services and programs are delivered by various providers, including Disability Employment Services (DES).

This organisation specialises in finding work for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It works with national and global organisations that want to employ people with ASD.

Books and other resources on employment for teenagers with additional needs

These books on preparing for the workforce might help you and your child:

  • The hidden curriculum of getting and keeping a job by Brenda Smith Myles, Judy Endow and Malcolm Mayfield
  • The complete guide to getting a job for people with Asperger’s syndrome by Barbara Bissonnette

Western Sydney University – Get Ready Top Tips Workbooks
These student workbooks and Parent Guide are based on 10 top tips for young people with disability. They contain information, contacts and activities to help students make a successful transition from school into tertiary study, work or post-school programs.