Transitioning from School to Work for Students with Disabilities: A Giant Leap

8th September, 2022

Last update: 2 February 2024

Finishing school can be a challenging life phase, especially for students with a disability or learning difficulty.  Knowing the options and potential pathways for your child or student can seem overwhelming, or at the other extreme, limited.  Barkuma’s Transition Program supports young people and their families who are transitioning from school to work to ensure they have the best possible chance for the future.

“I didn’t think school was for me and I wasn’t even going to complete year 12. Thankfully my school knew there was a way I could get through, and make sure I was supported through the process.” – Transition Program Graduate

Barkuma’s Transition Program is a 12 month program designed to assist final year students with disability and learning difficulties to make the smooth transition from school to future pathways. Through structured learning, skill development, accredited training and work placement opportunities, students are offered ongoing support to find and keep a job.

Students attend Barkuma 1 day per week in Terms 1 and 2 while building practical employment skills and career development. In Term 3, they commence accredited training through TafeSA or Private RTO’s in courses such as Retail or Hospitality.

In the final Term, students complete their vocational qualification gaining credit towards SACE, and undertake work experience. After a graduation ceremony, students are then supported to transition to an Employment Pathway. This could either be School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) or Disability Employment Services (DES) who will provide assistance beyond school to prepare for and seek employment.

“I think confidence really gives a student direction and purpose in life, and I think that’s the essence Barkuma has been able to make students feel good about themselves, and value themselves.” – Kevin Woolford, St Michael’s College


Visit the Barkuma’s employment supports page to view the various types of employment support we offer. Barkuma provides a seamless pathway between these supports and the flexibility to combine multiple supports to thrive in the workforce.

You may also like to read the Pathways to Employment with Barkuma journal article.

For more information about transitioning from school to work for students with disabilities, you can submit an online contact form, or by calling (08) 8414 7100, or emailing us at