School To Work

Start date: April 2020 Completion date: June 2023

Funded by Department of Social Services

School to Work aims to inspire, increase confidence and motivate students with disability to seek and find meaningful employment with the help and support of their family. This will be achieved through the delivery of a series of webinars and workshops, two conferences, and the development of resources.

The School To Work Project

This is a three-year project funded by the Department of Social Services. It will run until June 2023. Together with Resourcing Inclusive Communities/Family Advocacy (NSW) and CRU – Community Resource Unit (QLD), we are working on a project to support young people with disability to engage with employment.

The project hopes to see the trend reversed on poor disability employment figures. We want people with disability, who have the desire and capacity to work, to have greater choice and access to the right supports to achieve their employment goals.

Work and contributing to society is important for everyone, and everyone can have a real job. School to Work will help your child with disability and your family build confidence to explore what work might look like for them. When work goals are set early in a child’s high school years, there are many potential benefits:

  • developing a sense of belonging
  • making connections and friends
  • starting to find financial independence
  • building a career.

The project consists of:

  • 12 Introductory Webinars each year (2020, 2021, 2022)
  • In-depth workshops for each cohort each year (2021, 2022, 2023)
  • Two conferences: one in New South Wales and one in the Australian Capital Territory
  • Development of resources to support families through this journey.

Please contact Fiona McIntosh for more information: fiona (at)

Why Is Employment for People With Disability So Important?

People with disability have significant barriers to obtaining paid employment. Australia ranks 21 out of 29 in the employment of people with disability among OECD countries. The rate of NDIS participants in employment has remained at 21% throughout the life of the Scheme and only 41% of this group aged between 14 and 25 obtained paid employment in the open market.

The most recent NDIS employment outcomes data reported that people with Down syndrome and intellectual disability are most likely to be working in an Australia Disability Enterprise (ADE) rather than in open employment (NDIS 2018, Outcomes Report).

How Can We Change These Grim Statistics?

To improve these outcomes, a grassroots approach is needed.  Individual families must develop the vision, knowledge and capacity to support their children to plan early, harness the use of existing pathways in the school years and support their children to find and keep meaningful employment.


Please visit our events page to learn about and register for upcoming School to Work events.

Project Timeline

  • Nov 2020

    Introductory Webinars

    In November/December 2020 each of the three organisations will be holding introductory webinars for the following cohorts:

    • Imagining Work for students in Years 7-8
    • Discovering Work for students in Years 9-10
    • Finding Work for students in Years 11-12

    The information contained in the majority of the webinars was much the same in the ACT, New South Wales, and Queensland. However, some of the content delivered was specific to the state or territory it was presented in to ensure we covered local schemes and issues.

  • Feb 2021

    Introductory Webinars

    The introductory webinars were refined and held for a second time during February 2021.

  • May 2021

    Introductory Webinars

    The four introductory webinars were further refined and delivered during April and May 2021.

  • Jun 2021


    Following on from our webinars, we invited students with disability, their families, and others to embark upon a deeper exploration of work.

    We conducted the Imagining, Discovering, and Finding Work workshop twice during June 2021. The workshops were held live in Canberra.

    Over 50 people registered to attend.

  • Jun 2021

    Employment Resource Development

    We will deliver our first resource aimed at supporting high school students to find employment.

  • Jul 2021

    Webinars Series

    A new series of webinars will be delivered from July-September 2021.

  • Feb 2022


    A series of workshops will be offered to secondary school students with disability and their families.

  • Mar 2022

    Second Employment Resource

    We will deliver our second resource to support secondary students with disability to find meaningful work after school.

  • May 2022

    Conference (NSW)

    This is the first of two conferences that will be held as part of this project.

  • May 2022

    Webinars Series

    Our final round of webinars for secondary school students with disability.

  • Oct 2022


    Our final series of workshops will be delivered between October 2022 and April 2023.

  • May 2023

    Conference (ACT)

    Our final conference will be delivered in March or April 2023.

  • Jun 2023

    Project Complete