Disability Employment Services (DES)

The Australian Government values the contribution people with disability make to Australian society and believes that people with disability want to work and should be supported in their efforts to find and maintain a job. Disability Employment Services are uncapped, so that all eligible people with disability have immediate access to the service they need. There are no waiting lists.

DES Employment Support Service is for job seekers with permanent disability and with an assessed need for more long-term, regular support in the workplace.

All eligible job seekers with a disability have access to individually tailored and comprehensive services which meet their needs including capacity building, training, work experience and other interventions to help participants obtain and maintain suitable employment.

A key distinguishing feature of Disability Employment Services is their capacity to support and manage a participant’s condition in the workplace, along with providing ongoing support in the workplace for as long as it is required.

The Working Communities Network (WCN) comprises a consortium of like-minded not-for- profit employment services agencies including E-focus, JobCo and WCIG who are collectively committed to empowering people with disabilities to participate meaningfully affirming the right of every individual to a meaningful role in society.

The WCN consortium’s joint model has been greatly enhanced by each of the partners’ experience as providers of other employment and community welfare service. Implementation of the joint model has involved high level of sharing of best practice and experience to make us the strongest network of mental health specialist employment services in the Melbourne region. Together the consortium has 31 sites across Melbourne, Geelong and the Peninsula with E-focus delivering from 7 full time sites (Epping, Greensborough, Heidelberg, Lilydale, Northcote, Ringwood, Wantirna South) and 2 outreach sites (Warburton and Healesville).

WCN E-focus is a leading provider of specialised employment assistance to job seekers experiencing mental health conditions, building on our long established expertise in assisting people with disabilities over the past 25 years. Our skilled DES Employment Consultants work hard to support our participants to overcome their barriers to employment and engage employers to provide and sustain ongoing employment placements. We customise our services to the needs of each participant and place a strong emphasis on training and skills development.

Our services are driven by our commitment to respond to the individual needs of people with disabilities by:

  • providing relevant training with a focus on industries in which skills shortages exist thereby maximising employment prospects;
  • providing funded or low cost training to equip participants with foundation, vocational and life skills, fostering employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and unemployed through unique and highly effective job creation projects; and
  • encouraging more inclusive and creative attitudes and models for work and employment of people who are disadvantaged through our advocacy efforts and social enterprises.

Our success is based on a commitment to both the job seeker and employer as evidenced by our delivery of 4 and 5 star ratings (out of a 5 star rating system) across member organisations.

DES Participant Handbook