Leaving School NDIS Supports for Young People with Disability

15th June, 2023

What is SLES?

Barkuma provides School Leaver Employment Support (SLES) for eligible people with disability.

This support is designed for high school students and school leavers. It helps them get ready for work in open employment. They may not be ready to use a Disability Employment Service (DES) just yet.

The support helps young adults to transition from school, prepare for work and gain real-world experience.

Participants receive intensive support through weekly one-on-one meetings with a case manager and in small group sessions.

SLES helps participants with

  • building self-confidence
  • understanding what it means to have a job
  • employment goals
  • learning about employer expectations
  • exploring appropriate employment
  • supporting work experiences with appropriate employers
  • training in the use of public transport
  • learning about handling money
  • assisting participants to develop long-term job goals
  • linking in with a Disability Employment Service (DES) when ready to find employment

Adam Rasmussen, Team Leader of SLES, explains how Barkuma takes a personalised approach:

“Each young person has their own unique talents and aspirations for the future. Our case managers work closely with participants to plan their learning and employment goals. We use a variety of different tools to develop skills and find opportunities, and we collaborate closely with families and communities. It’s an exciting and motivating time for a lot of young people.”

Am I eligible?

SLES is funded through the NDIS and needs to be included in a person’s plan.

Rebecca Steppat, Operations Manager for Barkuma’s Transition Programs, advises participants, their families and teachers to start preparing early for a smooth transition from school to SLES.

“If SLES is going to be the pathway from school, then that needs to be considered before the planning meeting for the last year of school. SLES funding must be applied to the plan so that the young person can go straight from finishing school in year 12 to SLES.”

Every person’s SLES journey is unique. Barkuma will support a transition into a Disability Employment Service (DES), open employment, supported employment or tertiary study when each participant is ready.

Why should I choose Barkuma?

Barkuma is the expert in high school transitions for people with disability. We are proud of our 20+ years of working with young people, we recognise that leaving the safety and security of school and enter the next stage of their life of life can be overwhelming.  We understand intellectual disability, learning disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Barkuma will provide tailored support and advice to each young person to develop an individual plan for where they want to go and how they want to get there. We will work with each young person to identify their goals and develop the skills and strategies they need to achieve them. Our experienced and qualified team will provide assistance and support every step of the way. We are passionate about helping young people with disability to transition from school into further education, training or employment and to reach their potential.

As providers of school transition, school leaver and disability employment supports, Barkuma ensures a seamless handover between each phase of support for participants.

Barkuma’s strong and long-term relationships with local businesses provide participants with work experience and employment opportunities.

“Our passion and our purpose in SLES is about positive outcomes for people in their chosen path, whether that is supported or open employment, or further education and training,” says Rebecca, “It’s a very holistic approach.”

Adam Rasmussen oversees a team of dedicated case managers.

“Our case managers are well versed and aware of opportunities that exist in the community for people with disability. They provide a person-centred practice around finding what is right for each participant.”

Case managers work closely with participants to ascertain their strengths and hope for the future, helping them to hone their goals through practical advice and experience.

What are the outcomes of SLES?

Many SLES participants enjoy a big boost in confidence, having enjoyed new experiences and developed new skills. Participants can transfer into Disability Employment Service (DES), open employment, volunteering or tertiary education.

Visit barkuma.com.au/sles/ or phone (08) 8414 7100 to find out more.