Are you looking to choose a new Disability Employment Services (DES) provider? Unsure where to turn? With such a wide variety of DES providers available, the process of selecting the right one can be daunting. But before we even start searching, we need to cover the basics. What is a DES provider exactly? Who are they, why are they necessary, and what can they do to help you? We cover all this and more in the article below.
What is a DES provider?
DES providers are specialist recruiters. As a DES provider, our job is to help people with disability, injury or mental health condition to find and keep a job. Thanks to funding from the Australian Government, DES providers offer this service for free to help jobseekers prepare for work and then find a job that matches their skills and requirements.
But finding a DES provider that just ‘ticks the boxes’ isn’t what you want. Living with a disability, injury or mental health condition can be challenging enough without the added stress of dealing with poor customer service. As a prospective jobseeker, you’ll want to find a DES provider that goes above and beyond to find the perfect job for you.
A good provider should not only find and place you in a great job quickly, but they should also continue to support you after you’ve been placed in a new position. So, when you’re on the hunt for a new provider, here are just some of the key points you should look for during your search.
What to look for before choosing a DES provider
Aside from being close to where you live, there are a wide range of attributes you need to keep an eye on when selecting your next service provider.
Receptiveness and transparency
Finding a DES provider that listens to feedback and is transparent in the way they operate is an absolute must. After many discussions and community input, the DES industry was reformed in 2018 to give participants more choice and control about how they received their disability employment services.
So if you feel like your provider is withholding information or fails to take your feedback on board, you have plenty of competitors to choose from. If your case has truly been mishandled, the provider may also be in breach of the DES Code of Practice, which is an infringement you can follow up with the Department of Social Services
Dedicated employment consultants
Your Employment Consultant (Or ‘EC’ as they’re often called) should be dedicated to understanding your needs and concerns so they can empower you to achieve your goals. A good employment consultant will go out of their way to understand your individual circumstances and work with you to solve problems and overcome any barriers you may have to employment, be it by sourcing additional training, helping your desired employer with financial assistance or finding the perfect role through their community and employer connections.
Proactive and supportive
Not only should your employment consultant work with you to achieve your goals, they should do it in a proactive and positive manner. Rather than reacting to changes in circumstances or working ‘on the fly’, your employment consultant should develop a job plan that outlines your barriers, goals and a road-map that details how you’re going to achieve those goals together. A good employment consultant is always on the front foot.
Great community connections
Once you and your employment consultant have agreed on a job plan, the next step is for them to go out and connect you with employers who are ready to hire. Depending on your circumstances, you may also like to receive ongoing support from your provider to help ease your transition back into the workforce.
By leverage their connections, a good provider should be able to coordinate work experience trials with your desired employer to help you gauge whether or not the job is the right fit for you. Most providers also offer on the job training and support to further help you ease into long term paid employment.
As mentioned above, once you’ve gained employment your provider can then offer individualised support services to help you determine where you are most suited and feel most comfortable in the workplace.
By working closely with you both before and after you’re placed in a job, a good DES provider can then determine if you need additional support or assistance to meet the requirements of your new job. Once you are participating in paid employment, your DES provider should be actively following up to ensure you are supported inside and out of the workplace, which is essential to ensuring long term employment.
How do you search for a DES provider?
There are a variety of resources available to help you find a great DES provider. Here are just some of the options available.
JobSearch Provider Portal
Not sure which provider is right for you, or want to see how a provider might be able to help you? The JobSearch Provider Portal helps you find a provider by giving you the option to filter by postcode, provider type or provider name.
Disability Employment Provider Search
Similar to the JobSearch portal, Disability Employment Australia’s portal allows you to find a provider by postcode, but it also shows all providers by state category which can give you a birds-eye view of how competitive your local DES market may be (and therefore how many options are available to you).
Talk to the friendly staff at breakthru
With more than 25 years of experience helping Australians just like you find and keep great work, we know the industry inside out. If you’re looking for a great DES provider, we would be more than happy to have a chat and help you find meaningful employment – so feel free to get in touch!
If you’re outside our service area, we’re also happy to refer you to one of our industry partners that we know will look after you, or even explore what support we can provide to you remotely. At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure you have access to the resources you need and help you achieve your individual employment goals.
No matter who you choose, be it breakthru or another provider, we wish you the best of luck in your job search and we hope you found this article helpful!
Having grown up with his younger sister Katey (who was born with Down Syndrome), Josh has witnessed first hand the barriers and misconceptions placed around people with a disability. As part of the breakthru team, Josh hopes to assist people just like Katey find the information or supports they need to live their best life.
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