University Specialist Employment Partnerships set up local on-campus employment services that has been developed with and for graduates with disability in Australia, to improve rates of employment for students after University. We are a collaboration between passionate partners in Universities, Disability Employment Services and the National Disability Coordination Officer Program.
Currently, USEP is in trial mode at four universities in Australia, harnessing existing support, services and resources. The aim is to provide a free service for graduates wishing to access support to obtain graduate employment through the Australian Government Disability Employment Services program.
This program allows on-campus access to a university employment consultant specialising in Disability Employment for eligible graduates with disability* and connects graduates with existing university student career services that may also assist them.
USEP has been developed and is being led by a team of National Disability Coordination Officers under the National Disability Coordination Officer program, funded by the Australian Government.
Are there any timelines around gaining suitable employment?
The cut off is negotiated by each partnership – generally starting 1 year prior to graduation and ending 1 year post. In post-graduation, students are able to register with the provider directly to continue to receive the USEP service off campus or remotely, hopefully as you begin work and settle in. Typically, this support lasts for 6 months to one year with the possibility of extension from the moment you start work.
What can you help me with?
You will receive tailored one-on-one support from a dedicated consultant in addition to the services provided at your university to help you meet your post graduation employment goals. The practical application of this will vary – but the first discussion is about your resume, work experience, and plans for work. If you do not have any field related work experience this is a likely first stop – brokering experience with an employer for you to get current references & experience while we focus on graduate round applications. One of the supports which is likely to be utilised often is about disclosure of disability and working with managers, or if preferred, yourself directly to manage this.
Read about how the USEP consultant works: Natalie @ Griffith – Introduction
Who will be collecting and analysing the data?
The National Disability Coordination Officers are collecting summary data with the view to provide insight into this field and suggest further improvements. USEP is a learning based group – and all summary information will be released in written reports for the benefit of University students with disability. Your personal information will not be released without your express written consent.
When I fill in the registration form, who has access to this?
The employment partner and the National Disability Coordination Officer in your region will receive and action your referral.
Can the NDIS cover any of the costs of the consultant?
The NDIS will not fund an on campus employment specialist. The consultant is free – funded by participating employment providers.
What are the expected qualifications of the consultant?
Degree or higher, or, demonstrated experience working with graduates with disability or in a University in a related field (employment, support) would be the best practice choice. Ultimately, the consultant will be passionate about getting University graduates with disability into work.
Will you tell everybody about my disability if I participate?
Sharing information about disability is your decision to make at all times. Your participation is confidential. Should you be willing to share your story of study to work, you can opt to provide written consent and restrict it as you see fit.
Disclosure of Disability to graduate employers is also your choice – your consultant and yourself can build a plan which will work best for you and your individual circumstances at your first meeting.
have a read about what some graduates with disability say about sharing information about their disability with prospective employers: Disclosure research