About supported employment

Supported Employment is internationally considered to be the best practice to guarantee the chances of success in open economy for people with support needs by finding and maintaining a job.

It is a 5-step model that supports the client before, during and after finding a job. The employer is also supported. The focus here is on the person's capabilities rather than the limitations.

Read more about Supported Employment in the Toolkit and our other publications below.


One definition of Supported Employment

Providing support to people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups to secure and maintain employment in the open labour market


Two primary customers

The model serves 2 primary customers- The Job Seeker & The Employer


Three core principles
  1. Paid work: on same terms and conditions as non-disabled/disadvantaged employees.
  2. Inclusion within the open labour market. i.e not segregated, meaningful work. Real jobs this may include advocating Self- employment. (ref: Supported Self Employment toolkit)
  3. Ongoing Support: Once employment is secured ongoing support is provided to the job seeker and the employer
Four incremental aspects

There are 4 incremental aspects associated with the model

  1. Place: priority is to find and place the job finder within an employment setting. Or self-employment explored where appropriate.
  2. Train: once placed the job seeker is supported to learn the job, this may include one to one support from a job coach to help the job seeker learn the job. The job coach will also help with identifying and supporting and training that may be needed.
  3. Maintain: once the job is established the job coach will continue to support the individual and the employer to ensure needs of both parties are met
  4. Progress: as part on the on-going support and maintenance of the job the job coach will support the career progression of the job seeker.
Five delivery stages

There are 5 delivery stages* within the model:

  1. Client engagement
  2. Vocational profiling
  3. Job finding
  4. Employer engagement
  5. On and off job support