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Public Service Commission

Disability employment services

The Disability Employment Services (DES) program funded by the federal Department of Social Services assists over 310,000 jobseekers with disability to get and keep employment. There are around 40 DES providers in hundreds of locations across NSW. 

DES support people with disability to gain and maintain meaningful employment by: 

  • connecting candidates to the right job for them
  • preparing both the workplace and candidate for employment
  • offering ongoing support to ensure success in the long term.

Through offering pre-employment and on the job support to candidates, DES can save employers time and money in the recruitment of high-quality candidates. Providers continue to offer support after an employee commences in the new role, to ensure that a new employee is settling into the new role. All this support is provided at no cost to the employer.  

Guide to working with disability employment services

Use our guide to help you work with disability employment services to recruit in your workplace.

Download the guide

Engaging with disability employment services

To work effectively with a DES provider it is important to:

  • Research and understand the providers in your area.
  • Connect and communicate:  Explain your business requirements, the role(s)and how public sector recruitment works. The earlier the engagement the better to ensure that the DES provider can meet your needs.
  • Develop the relationship: DES providers will work closely with you to develop a relationship, and understand your agency, and the vacancies available at any given time. The aim is to find a great match between what you are looking for and the DES participant put forward for interview. Building a good relationship can lead to more mutually beneficial outcomes, including more sustainable employment opportunities for people with disability.

Disability employment service providers in your region

Visit Job Access to find a DES provider near you.

Generally, DES providers can:

  • present to you on their service
  • job match candidates and address focus capabilities
  • facilitate workplace adjustments and WHS advice
  • assist with induction and development of 6-month support plan
  • deliver the Work Assist program to support current employees with disability.

Providers can also offer additional services. 

Organisations which provide fee for service disability employment programs

These organisations are not funded by government and are funded by the employers who use their services. A key difference between these services and DES, is that the fee for service programs start with the employer’s needs and then matches the jobseeker. DES providers usually start with the candidate and then look for a suitable employer.

Working with providers

Before you begin, you need to ensure:

  • your recruitment process meets NSW government standards 
  • if you are targeting the recruitment process for people with disability you have used GSE Rule 26 (see fact sheet for Public Service agencies and for government sector agencies) 
  • your recruitment process is inclusive.Your DES provider will work with you to complete a job analysis, understand any workplace adjustments needed, develop support plans, and provide ongoing support. It is important you understand the Work Assist program too. 

Download the working with disability employment services guide for detailed information on these steps