Jobs Australia members help people with disabilities get and keep jobs through mainstream and specialist services.  Mainstream services include jobactive and the Community Development Program (CDP).  Specialist services include Disability Employment Services (DES) and Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).  

In 2012, 2.2 million Australians aged 15-64 had a disability, with only 47.7% (more than 1m) in paid employment.  Only 52.9% were in the workforce or actively seeking work, compared to 82.5% for people without disability.

Australia ranks 21st out of 29 OECD countries for disability employment.

Unlike jobactive and DES which provide support into mainstream workplaces, ADEs provide supported employment to about 20,000 people with moderate to severe disability.  

People are referred to DES only when their disability is assessed as being their primary barrier to employment.  The specialist DES program is itself split into two further specialist services:

  • Employment Support Service for people with permanent disability who need regular ongoing support to keep a job; and
  • Disability Management Service for people with a disability, injury or health condition who might only occasionally need ongoing support to keep a job.  

DES is managed by the Department of Social Services, and delivered by a national network of providers who are contracted until 2023. 

The Jobs Australia policy team works to support and represent all of our members, to help them improve the lives of people with disabilities through employment.

News items and resources relating to our policy representation and our support services for members can be found on this page.

You can subscribe to news updates and upcoming event notifications by joining the Disability Employment Services interest group

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