Pathways to Employment with Barkuma Supports

22nd November, 2023

Barkuma is committed to helping individuals with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling and independent lives through a wide range of employment supports. From Transition, School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES), Supported Employment at Commercial Services and Disability Employment Service (DES). Barkuma offers tailored services that enable people with disabilities achieve their career goals.

Barkuma provides a seamless pathway between these supports and the flexibility to combine multiple supports to thrive in the workforce.

The Transition Program: Building Foundations

The journey begins with the Transition Program, a vital support designed to assist final-year students with disabilities as they transition from school to the world of work. Barkuma’s team understands the importance of laying a strong foundation for future career success. The Transition Program focuses on preparing students for the challenges and opportunities they will encounter in the workforce.

Through structured learning, accredited training, skill development and work placement opportunities – students are on their journey to find and keep a job.

Barkuma’s Transition Team is committed to helping students build the skills and confidence necessary to take their first steps towards employment.

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES): Developing Independence

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) is the next step on the pathway to employment. SLES emphasises essential life skills, job readiness and personal development.

Participants in SLES have the opportunity to gain practical experience through work experience.  These real-world experiences are crucial for developing independence and confidence. As individuals explore various career options, they receive the guidance and support needed to make informed decisions about their future employment goals.

The program covers a range of topics such as resume building, interview skills and personal development workshops. These activities are tailored to each individual’s unique needs and aspirations.

Supported Employment at Commercial Services: Creating Inclusive Work Environments

Barkuma’s Supported Employment at Commercial Services program (BCS) offers a supportive and inclusive work environment for individuals who require more support. This type of employment support is designed to provide structured, supervised work activities that allow participants to gain valuable skills, build self-esteem and work towards more independent employment options.

BCS is particularly beneficial for individuals who may face additional barriers to traditional employment. Here, they can engage in meaningful work activities within a supportive workplace, fostering a sense of belonging and accomplishment.

Disability Employment Services (DES): Navigating Mainstream Employment

Barkuma’s Disability Employment Services (DES)focuses on placing individuals with developmental disabilities in mainstream employment, leveraging their skills and experience to secure long-term work. Barkuma’s team of key workers offer personalised assistance, job coaching and ongoing support to help individuals maintain their positions.

The DES team at Barkuma collaborates closely with job seekers and employers to ensure a seamless transition into the workforce. They match the right talent with the right job opportunities, working to create a win-win situation for job seekers and employers alike. This tailored approach to employment placement has been instrumental in helping individuals with disabilities secure long-term employment and achieve their career goals.

Flexibility and Seamlessness: Tailoring the Pathway to Individual Needs

One of the key strengths of Barkuma’s approach is the seamless transition between these different employment supports. The pathways are flexible, allowing individuals to progress at their own pace, addressing their unique needs and aspirations. Barkuma understands that the journey to employment is not one-size-fits-all and provides a range of options to ensure the best fit for each individual.

The ability to move through the Transition Program to SLES, then onto Supported Employment at Commercial Services, or DES offers a clear, well-defined progression that aligns with an individual’s growth. The flexibility of this approach means that participants can receive the level of support they need at the right time to maximise their potential for success.

A Bright Future with Barkuma

By working with Barkuma, individuals with developmental disabilities can embark on a transformative journey toward a fulfilling career and a brighter future. Our unwavering dedication to supporting individuals at every stage of their employment journey has significantly impacted countless lives, helping them achieve their dreams of meaningful employment and independence.

For more information and to explore the full range of employment support services offered by Barkuma, phone (08) 414 7100 or visit