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What are School Leaver Employment Supports?

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

If you’re gearing up to leave school and start working, you may be eligible for School Leaver Employment Supports which can help you build your job skills, confidence and independence as you transition from school into work.

What is School Leaver Employment Support?

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) is part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme to help support participants as they transition from school to work. SLES is available in the final years of school and directly after school.

SLES can support you to:

  • Build your motivation and confidence joining the workforce

  • Develop key capacity building skills for the workforce and within the community

  • Help you to determine your career aspirations and goals

  • Gain a nationally recognised qualification

SLES providers offer meaningful, tailored capacity building activities to young people so they can work towards and achieve their employment goals.

How does it work?

SLES annual funding is available for NDIS participants who are Year 12 school leavers who are ineligible for NDIS Disability Employment Services (DES)* support.

*DES eligibility requires a person to be able to undertake – now or with two years – eight hours or more of work per week in open employment, with approved DES supports.

Everyone’s employment journey is different depending on the path they take. Which is why each participant using their SLES funding will develop different skills. However, some of the core skills that may be learnt through a SLES program are:

  • Money handling and management

  • Time management

  • Communication skills

  • Discovery activities

  • Work experience

  • Job ready skills

  • Travel skills

  • Personal development skills

  • Resume and cover letter writing

  • Teamwork skills

  • Mental health and wellbeing

  • Preparing for an interview

The NDIS can fund school leaver employment supports for up to two years, depending on the participant’s circumstances.

How to choose a SLES provider and what to expect from them?

There are plenty of SLES providers available to choose from, but the key is choosing the right one for you. To help decide which SLES provider you want to engage, it’s a good idea to ask them some questions first.

Some questions you can ask SLES providers:

  • 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?

The purpose of engaging a SLES provider is to get you ‘work ready’ by offering core skills alongside tailored services to suit your individual employment goals. They 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.

How can I plan for SLES?

It’s important for school leavers who are wanting to transition into working life to make sure that SLES is listed in their NDIS plan. If you’re new to the NDIS and are due to graduate between your initial planning meeting and your next plan review, it’s a good idea to discuss SLES with your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIA Planner. If this is not your first NDIS plan, then you can discuss SLES with your LAC or NDIA Planner at your plan review meeting.

It’s a good idea to come prepared with a list of your employment goals to your planning meeting or plan review so you can discuss this with your LAC or NDIA Planner what goals you would like to achieve and what supports can be included in your NDIS plan to help you achieve those goals.

You can also check out our YouTube Vlog interview for more information about School Leaver Employment Supports by clicking here.

Read more about the benefits of working with an independent, professional Plan Manager. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 1300 322 273 or


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