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15 June 2022

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES).

School leaver employment supports (SLES) NDIS supports are designed to help students with disabilities achieve what is often a goal for school leavers – finding and starting a job.

SLES aim to build a bridge between school and work, helping students understand their potential, develop skills and build confidence.

School leaver employment supports may be available throughout the last period of high school and immediately after leaving school for up to two years.


What’s included in SLES supports?

SLES in an NDIS Plan will be different for everyone and depend on your goals but cover all aspects of moving from school to work. You can get help for each step of the way, from identifying the type of work you want to do and learning new skills to moving into the workforce and getting started in a new role.

Examples of SLES include:

  • Money handling skills
  • Time management skills
  • Communication
  • Discovery activities
  • Work experience
  • Job-ready skills
  • Travel preparation
  • Personal development
  • Decision making and problem-solving
  • Computer literacy
  • Preparing a resume and submitting a job application
  • Interview preparation
  • Preparation for your first day
  • Understanding rights and responsibilities in the workplace
  • Self-motivation and personal presentation
  • Working independently and as part of a team.[1]

School leaver employment supports are listed under Capacity Building in an NDIS Plan and can be found under Finding and keeping a job in the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits.

Once you have SLES funding in your NDIS Plan, you can use Core and Capacity Building funds to develop work skills and get help to become job-ready such as through part-time employment or volunteer work.[2]


The role of SLES providers.

SLES providers help you transition from school to work and overcome any barriers faced along the way. They can help you prepare, look for and start work.

They should explore the various pathways and types of employment with you so you have a better understanding of your options.[3]

It’s essential to find the right provider for you, who understands what you aim to achieve. Before signing up with a provider, ask lots of questions. Find out if they have experience working with other people with the same disability and whether they have relevant local connections.

The NDIS has created a provider comparison document to help you ask the right questions and compare NDIS SLES providers in your area.


Good to know.

  • SLES are available to people in the final year of high school and up to the age of 22
  • SLES are generally intended for students in year 12 but may suit any student with a disability of school leaving age planning to transition to work. Keep in mind that the official “school leaving age” is different in each state.
  • Some people may achieve their goals in a few months; others may need support for several years.


Planning for SLES.

The NDIS recommends starting transition planning at least six months before leaving school to provide enough time to secure SLES supports and get them working to achieve your goals.

If you’re planning to leave school in the next 12 months, prepare a written list of your employment goals and the challenges you face to achieve them. Take this information to your next planning meeting and ask for SLES to be included in your NDIS Plan.


Take the next step with Leap in!

If you would like assistance preparing for your next NDIS Plan meeting and have any questions about SLES, we can help you take the next step.

Call the Leap in! Crew on 1300 05 78 78 or sign up to Leap in! plan management today.


Originally published 30 January 2019, updated 15 June 2022.

[1] NDIS, School leaver employment supports, updated 3 March 2022 and NDIS, School leaver employment supports booklet, November 2020.
[2] NDIS, School leaver employment supports booklet, November 2020.
[3] NDIS, School leaver employment supports booklet, November 2020.