What is SLES funding and is it right for me?

Feb 21, 2022 | Academy

Moving from school to work is a major change for young people; even more so if you have a disability. It brings exciting opportunities, but also new challenges.

You might be planning to find a job in mainstream employment, where people with and without disability work together. If so, getting to know the support available to get work-ready can be a good place to start.

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) is a type of NDIS funding that can help you achieve your post school employment goals. It can help you prepare for the world of work and seek mainstream employment.

In this blog, we explain how SLES funding can help.

Blog title: What is SLES funding and is it right for me? Young woman with brown shoulder length hair and glasses stands with her arms crossed looking at camera.

What is SLES funding?

There’s no doubt about it. Trying to understand the funding support options can be daunting.

SLES is a type of NDIS funding that is designed to help you build your ability and confidence to enter the workforce. You can use it to pay for programs which support you to prepare for, look for and secure a job, through a SLES provider.

One positive with SLES funding is that you can make it work for you. You have a lot of control over how to use the funding and can choose your preferred SLES provider.


What can I use SLES funding for?

You can use SLES funding to get the right mix of support to:

  • move into employment or job seeking
  • progress to self-employment.

Work preparation activities you can access through a SLES provider include:

  • Assistance finding work experience in different companies/industries
  • Mentoring
  • Accessing job training and education
  • Skill development in areas like computer literacy, time management, taking instructions and working independently.


Who can receive SLES funding?

You need to be on an NDIS plan to receive SLES funding. The funding is available to NDIS participants in their final year of school and those who have recently left school (generally up to the age of 22). It is available for up to two years. It can start before – or just after – you graduate from high school.


If I don’t have NDIS funding, how do I get it?

As mentioned, to get SLES funding, you must have an NDIS plan with funding in place to support your goal of mainstream employment.

To gain access to the NDIS, you must complete and submit an access request. Find out more here.


How do I choose a SLES provider?

It’s important to choose a SLES provider carefully. You can use more than one, and discussing your options with several providers can help you decide what’s best for you.

School leavers who choose to come to Jigsaw value the workplace-based training program focusing on transferable skills, paid professional work experience and support to transition to mainstream employment.


What if I’m not eligible for SLES?

Don’t worry. If you’re not able to get SLES, you may still be able to use other types of NDIS funding to reach your work goals. 

 Examples include Core Support funding or Capacity Building funding e.g. “Finding and Keeping a Job”.

Jigsaw accepts SLES and other types of funding so you can access our innovative pathway to mainstream employment and ensure you have the job-ready skills, confidence and real-life work experience you need for success. If you have any questions, please send us an enquiry, or give us a call to discuss your individual situation.

More information

For more information on the NDIS and to check eligibility for SLES funding, head to the NDIS website.

Read our blog about your post-school options to understand the different pathways to employment that are available.

About Jigsaw

Jigsaw is a social enterprise that provides an innovative pathway to open employment for people with disability. By embedding a comprehensive skill-based training program within our commercial document and data management business, Jigsaw enables people with disability to achieve their employment goals at their own pace. Jigsaw’s holistic approach starts from the very basics of core work skills and supports trainees all the way through to transition to open employment with ongoing support and coaching once they have transitioned.

Jigsaw is located in Sydney, MelbourneBrisbane and Adelaide, with Canberra and Perth locations coming soon.