What’s the difference between SLES and DES?

6th May, 2022

It’s a question we get asked a lot… What is the difference between SLES and DES?

The main difference between School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) and Disability Employment Supports – Open Employment (DES) is how ready someone is to enter the employment world.

SLES is funded through the NDIS. It is designed to provide supports to eligible school leavers who have aspirations to work in open employment, but aren’t ready to engage with a DES service yet. SLES participants receive intensive support each week in both a group and one on one setting. Some of the things SLES helps with is:

  • building self-confidence
  • understanding what it means to have a job
  • learning about employer expectations
  • exploring appropriate employment
  • supporting work experiences with appropriate employers
  • assisting participants to develop long term job goals
  • linking in with a DES service when ready to find employment

The outcomes of SLES include transitioning to a DES service, or further education or training, employment in an apprenticeship or traineeship, independent job seeking, volunteering and community participation or ongoing supports in an Australian Disability Enterprise.

Some of the things provided by Barkuma’s DES service is;

  • Organising work skill assessments to determine barriers and build individualised support plans
  • Assistance with job search and identifying appropriate workplaces.
  • On-the-job support and training when a participant gets a job to help them learn the job
  • Ongoing support to help overcome issues/changes in a workplace over time

Barkuma is a specialist provider and all our SLES and DES participants must have a developmental disability to be eligible for a service.

Potential to work in open employment Ready to work in open employment
Recently left school Legal working age
NDIS plan needed, with a goal to work No NDIS plan needed