What’s the difference between SLES and DES?

25th November, 2022

What is the difference between SLES and DES?

It’s a question we get asked a lot…

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 designed for people who have recently left school and need additional support to transition into the workforce. This includes helping young people to develop skills such as problem solving, communication, and job-seeking.

DES, on the other hand, is designed for people who already have a job but need additional support to maintain their employment. This includes assisting people to develop a career plan, find the right job, and maintain a job.

What is SLES?

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

  • Building self-confidence
  • Understanding what it means to have a job and employment goals
  • 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

What is DES?

Disability Employment Services (DES) help people with disability find work and keep a job. Through Barkuma’s Disability Employment Service, people with intellectual disability, Learning difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorder receive assistance to prepare for work and find and keep a job. DES is not an NDIS support, and is funded by the Federal Government. The services is free for participants and employers to use.

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

  • Assistance with job search and identifying appropriate workplaces.
  • Organising work skill assessments to determine barriers and build individualised support plans
  • 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

Key differences between SLES and DES:

School Leavers Employment Service

  1. Potential to work in open employment
  2. Recently left school
  3. NDIS plan needed, with a goal to work

Disability Employment Service

  1. Ready to work in open employment
  2. Legal working age
  3. No NDIS plan needed

Finding DES and SLES providers

Barkuma is both a DES and SLES specialist provider. All of our SLES and DES participants must have a disability to be eligible for a service. Contact us to find out more.