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Disability Employment Services for Referrers

Help your client find their ideal job with Disability Employment Services

Disability Employment Services (DES) is a government-funded initiative that helps people living with a disability, injury, or a health condition find and keep a job they love. The program connects them with employers who understand their individual needs and value their skills.

MTC is a leading provider of this program, and we work in partnership with CoAct to help our customers create a life of their choosing.


Our dedicated team of staff consistently achieves exceptional outcomes, helping unemployed customers find a new job and supporting customers with identifying and securing new careers that play to their strengths.

Each customer in our DES program is assigned a Recruitment Partner, who provides them with one-on-one support throughout their journey. This support includes:

  • Working together to identify the customer’s goals and plans for achieving them
  • Developing resume writing and interview skills
  • Accessing training opportunities and medical/personal assistance as required
  • Talking on behalf of the customer to local employers who are looking to hire and will happily provide them with suitable work that matches their abilities
  • Ongoing support to ensure the customer settles in well at their new job and have access to any assistance they need to maintain their new job, including workplace modification and support services.

Who is eligible for DES?

Customers may be referred to DES if they are living with a disability, injury, or health condition that requires additional support at work. Customers living with a disability will need to verify their medical condition with Centrelink, who may refer them to DES. 

To access Disability Employment Services, customers must:

  • have a disability, injury, or health condition;
  • be aged at least 14 years but have not yet attained the Age Pension qualifying age;
  • have a future work capacity with intervention of at least eight hours per week;
  • be an Australian resident;
  • not be studying full time, unless the customer is an Eligible School Leaver
  • be in receipt of an income support payment, except where the customer is:
    • Eligible School Leaver, Special Class Client or Work Assist
    • a current NDIS participant

Success Stories

MTC has been helping customers find meaningful and sustainable employment for more than 30 years. Hear from Malek and Caterina about how the DES program helped them achieve their goals.

Malek's Story

Malek is 18 years old and is living with an intellectual disability. He joined MTC’s Disability Employment Services (DES) program in 2020 with the hope of finding sustainable employment.

He initially worked with our Regional Performance and Partnership Manager for DES, who was confident that Malek would be able to start working and remain employed into the future with assistance, the right job opportunity, and the right employer. To Malek, this confidence meant the world: “She was fantastic. She always checked in to ask me how I was feeling and was always contactable,” he says.

When Malek began his job search with one of our Recruitment Partners, he informed them that he wanted nothing more than to work at a car wash, just like the person he looks up to and admires – his older brother, who is also living with an intellectual disability.

His Recruitment Partner arranged a meeting with the owners of VIP Car Care in Yagoona, who were open to the idea of working with Malek. Once the owners met him, they instantly knew Malek was going to fit in well, and they were prepared to work with him as long as it took for him to get settled and learn the tasks he’d need to complete on a daily basis. “This understanding by an employer of the needs of a new employee in the workplace is crucial to sustainable employment,” says Malek's Recruitment Partner.

Within two weeks of starting work, Malek was thriving in a workplace that understood him and made him comfortable. Unfortunately, his grandfather was rushed to the hospital one evening. Malek contacted his Recruitment Partner and his employer to advise that he wouldn’t be attending work the next day to stay by his grandfather’s side. Malek’s employer told him that he could take as much time as he wanted and that they’d be there for him if he needed anything.

Sadly, Malek’s grandfather passed away the next evening, leaving him devasted due to how close the pair were. Malek and his Recruitment Partner spoke the next day, and while Malek was emotional, he said he would really like to go back to work to keep occupied and feel productive, and that’s just what he did.

Malek's Recruitment Partner says, “I’m so proud of this young man and his achievements so far, and there are plenty more to come. The best news of all is that Malek is now in his fourth month of employment at VIP and is learning new things every day. He’s so happy.”

With a smile, Malek says the best part of working is “not having to ask my mum for money anymore” and that his goal is to open his own business with his brother.

On his experience with MTC, Malek is full of praise for his Recruitment Partner, who he says has a massive heart and helped him find a job. Malek says, “I would recommend MTC to everyone because of the way I was treated. I have an intellectual disability and want to say thanks to them for helping me, and most of all for asking how I’m feeling, listening to me, and helping me get a job in a carwash which is exactly what I wanted.”

We are so pleased to see Malek achieving his goals and can’t wait to see what’s in store for him in the future.

Caterina's Story

My name is Caterina, and I’m part of a big Italian family. My parents met on a cruise and got married in Australia. I was born here, and I grew up in Lakemba and Greenacre. Dad was a shoemaker who worked with his brother. I have a strong relationship with my family. At Christmas, at Easter, we’re always together, we make lasagne, we eat lots of food – till you’re full to the top!

My mum can’t drive anymore, so I care for her. I take her shopping, take her to bingo. I help her out with housework. I’d do anything for my mum.

I’ve got anxiety and panic attacks that started in 2016. I was helping my mum with the shopping and all of a sudden, my heart started beating fast, and I felt like I was going to die. I was gripping the steering wheel so tight, and I was terrified. Later at home, my husband saw me and said, “Your face is so yellow!”

He took me to the doctor, and I got my diagnosis. I couldn’t cope, couldn’t drive. I was too scared to be alone or even take a shower. My cousin really helped me. She rang me up and said, “Get out of that chair, otherwise you’re going to become an old lady, and you’re never going to do what you want to do!” That’s when my mind clicked, and I started getting better and better. Now I take medication and the anxiety has settled a bit.

I hadn’t been working for about two years. I wanted to work because I didn’t want to always be asking my husband for money. I wanted to go shopping, go out with friends and family. I wanted something part-time, even if it was just to get me out of the house – it helps my anxiety.

One day I was going to the bank and saw the CanVan. There was a lovely man there who said to me, “Have you got a job?” I said no. He said, “Do you want one?” I said, “Why not!”

He told me about MTC and Disability Employment Services and gave me a number. I thought it sounded good, so I rang up. There was an MTC at Hurstville, but because I was nervous about driving, someone came to meet me in Revesby. And that’s when I met my Recruitment Partner.

We had coffee and cake. We chatted about her role – to help people with disabilities find work, and help them stay in their jobs and be successful at them – and also about my upcoming holiday to Thailand. My Recruitment Partner said, “When you get back, I think I’ve got a job for you!”

To get the job I went for an interview with the office manager and the owner of Nonabel Transport. My Recruitment Partner told me that they’re both very flexible and understanding, which helped with my anxiety.

Right now I’m dealing with all different clients, young to old, lovely people, really nice. There’s one lovely lady called Joanne; I pick her up, take her shopping, then she wants me to join her for a coffee. Then I take her home and help her put the groceries away. I take her to her doctor’s appointments. She loves to chat.

Some clients are non-verbal and communicate by squeezing my hand, but I chat with them. I think they feel comfortable with me. I joke with them, ask them how their day was, talk about the weather.

It’s been a good job. I enjoy it because I’ve never been to all these places, now I’m learning the streets, from Arncliffe to Mortdale, Campsie, Redfern, all over. I used to be nervous about driving, but if I’m feeling stressed, I’ll put some music on, which calms me down.

It feels like my Recruitment Partner and I became friends. I feel confident talking to her. If there’s anything wrong, I contact her, and she helps me out and calms me down. She calls me to ask how my anxiety is and if there’s anything I need; I always talk about my job and how it’s going.

Anxiety is a really bad illness that a lot of people get. It’s tough for people with anxiety to find work. Some people get it light, some strong and can’t cope. I say to employers ­– give us a go, give us a chance!

My anxiety has changed since I got this job. I have more control over it. Working has made me a different person.

Now I’m just feeling a lot better and happier, I’m more relaxed. Even my mum said, “Before you looked really down, and now you look alive!”

I’m meeting different people and I’ve opened up. Before, I used to be very shy and didn’t want to talk to anyone. I’m proud of myself that I’m doing this.

Refer to DES

To refer a customer to MTC’s Disability Employment Services program, please fill out the below form, or contact our Customer Care team on 1300 232 663 or at [email protected].

Looking for an MTC Australia Location?

Due to COVID 19, all of our programs are currently being delivered online or remotely and visits to our sites is only under exceptional circumstances. If you want to attend a site or speak to one of our staff, please call Customer Care on 1300 232 663.