Employment for people with disability has been demonstrated to have numerous social, health and economic benefits. With recent changes to the Disability Employment Services (DES) reforms in 2018, a better understanding of the perspectives of job seekers and their engagement with the DES program is imperative to informing effective service delivery and client retention.

Similar challenges exist for young people with disability who have a disproportionally high risk of being unemployed and not in education or training. As new support models continue to be developed for young people transitioning into employment and given the known benefits of intervening early, it is an apt time to evaluate the programs available to young people and gain a better understanding of the supports they need from employment programs.

In this presentation we will present findings from Wave 1 of the Improving Disability Employment Study (IDES) which is a prospective study of jobseekers recruited through DES. We will also present an update on Wave 2 and preliminary findings from this 12-month follow-up. Finally, we will present on preliminary findings from the Youth Employment Study (YES) which focuses on young people (15-25 years) accessing youth employment programs.

Stefanie Dimov

Project Manager
University of Melbourne

Stefanie Dimov is the project manager on the Improving Disability Employment Study (IDES) and the Youth Employment Study (YES) conducted at the University of Melbourne. She has been working within the Disability and Health Unit for over two years, working closely with employment service providers, youth employment program providers and disability advocates in the field. Stefanie has a multi-disciplinary background in psychology and public health and extensive experience in project management. She has a strong interest in health and wellbeing in the context of disability and employment and her recent work aims to provide evidence that will inform policy and service delivery within the disability sector.

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