Work First: A Customised Employment Approach

Work First is an innovative suite of person-centred disability employment services that support individuals, families and schools to make inclusive employment possible for people with a disability. Work First is underpinned by Customised Employment and Discovery, borne out of years of research and practice evidence, along with a dab of help from our technical partners, Griffin Hammis Associates (Customised Employment Pioneers) and research partners globally. Driven by the need to improve disability employment outcomes, Work First works with individuals, families and schools to make employment and careers possible. The Work First Way supports individuals who are plan or self-managed clients of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Work First Way is a capacity-building practice framework that supports individuals looking for employment post-school and offers the Glide In transition to work program to schools, individuals, and families looking to start employment while still engaged at school.

Work First is the disability employment service of the Centre for Disability Employment Research and Practice. It is where CDERP puts theory into practice in delivering innovative services to individuals and businesses. Real Praxis is available to service providers seeking authentic person-centred employment services.

Our program is boutique and individualised, with our staff working with a small number of clients. It’s not about big caseloads; it’s about being the best to illustrate what is possible when you practice with authenticity and fidelity to the evidence for good practice. We’ll leave the empire building to the others.

Warning: Customised Employment and Discovery are about the right job, not any job. This means that they take time, so a different service system may be more appropriate if you want any job.

If you would like to use our services or refer a client, follow this link to complete our information form, and we will get back to you ASAP.

Referral / Intake Form Link

Transition from School

The transition from school to work or study should start as early as possible to ensure that every child with a disability finishes high school with a blueprint for success. Our Glide In program, developed by the Centre for Disability Employment Research and Practice (CDERP), is a comprehensive transition program that works with all levels of school communities.

“It’s not simply about creating awareness; it’s about understanding the child and creating change at all levels to support the natural transition of children with a disability and support the delivery of career and employment opportunities through a program of individualised experiences and learning that develops the capacity to self determine and self-advocate.

Dr Peter Smith – CDERP Founder / Director

We’ve developed a multi-stage program that uses the available evidence base and our proprietary program to understand the young person and facilitate their active involvement in the transition to the post-school process, which starts right now. That’s our starting point: Where are you right now?

Glide In has been developed from Group Guided Discovery, trialled in Australia in school settings, and evolved to meet the needs of children and current school settings. It’s about building the capacity of children so they finish school with a blueprint for success, not a referral to a service provider to start the final school year’s process again.

Individuals – Post School

Work First is an innovative suite of person-centred disability employment services underpinned by Customised Employment and Individual Place and Support delivered with fidelity to the evidence base for practice. Our approach is based on local and international evidence for best practices and is supported by leaders in disability employment worldwide.

Work First works with individuals who are plan or self-managed participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Work First Individual Employment works with people with disabilities or barriers to employment to find meaningful paid employment in the community. It is based on the individual’s strengths, skills, interests, ideal conditions of employment and the employer’s business needs. That’s the basis for Customised Employment – true mutuality!

Our Individual Employment program is a continuum of the Glide In program that supports capacity building while in school while building a blueprint for employment or further study post-school. Based on the principles of Customised Employment, Glide In and Work First make up the Work First Way, an evidence-based, practice-informed framework supporting a seamless transition from school to adult life.

Work First is about finding the right job while building your skills and capacity to work and live independently. This is about finding the right job for you, not just any job. As such, Customised Employment isn’t for someone looking for a quick placement in employment. Capacity and skills building that support real jobs and careers take a little longer. Please consider this when considering Customised Employment and Work First.

Mental Health Services

Our mental health services are available to individuals who are self-managed clients of the NDIS and to the general public who need counselling services to support good mental health. Corporate clients may also avail themselves of these services by arrangement.