Supported employment for people with disabilities

What is the EmployAbility Service?

The EmployAbility Service is an employment and recruitment service that helps people who have a disability, an injury or and an illness to get and to keep a job. It gives a number of supports, such as a job coach who works with both jobseekers and employers. It used to be called the Supported Employment Service.

The EmployAbility Service works through sponsor organisations in local communities on behalf of the Department of Social Protection(DSP) – see ‘Sponsor organisations’ below.

Who can use the EmployAbility Service?

To use the EmployAbility Service, you must be between 18 and 65 and need support in finding and getting a job.

You must also be job ready. Job ready is having the necessary training, education, motivation and ability to work.

The service is for people who genuinely need the support of a job coach to get a job. See ‘What does a job coach do?’ below

What type of supports are provided?

EmployAbility Service supports include:

  • Ongoing support for both the employer and employee throughout employment
  • A professional job-matching service to help ensure successful recruitment
  • Advice and information on additional employment supports

How does it help jobseekers?

EmployAbility can give you career advice and employment support. Career advice includes identifying your skills and helping you to search for a job.

Employment support includes:

  • Help with applying for jobs
  • Help with finding jobs
  • Matching your skills with employers’ needs
  • Help with fitting into the workplace after you get a job
  • Advice on employment benefits and entitlements

How does it help employers?

The EmployAbility Service’s supports for employers include:

  • Free recruitment and employment service
  • Database of skilled jobseekers
  • Access to a committed, local workforce
  • Ongoing support from a professional team of job coaches
  • Advice on employment grants and supports

How can a job coach help?

Job coaches provide support both before and after you get a job. Job coaches can:

  • Help you to identify your skills, interests and aspirations
  • Help you to identify suitable employment where your skills, interests and talents match what is needed in the job
  • Examine the various tasks involved in the job and plan the supports you may need
  • Help you to develop the technical and social skills needed to do the job

How to find a job

When you and your job coach have identified and agreed on the type of work you are interested in, the next stage is to apply for jobs.

You can do this either by applying for jobs that are advertised in the usual way or by your job coach helping you to apply for jobs in your area. Sometimes, this can involve your job coach contacting employers in your area or in your chosen field of work.

Job coaches provide continuing support in a number of ways, depending on what you need. For example, they can help with on-the-job training and can support you and the employer when you first start a job. Or they can provide support and advice only when you ask for it.

During a placement, a job coach gives information, advice and ongoing support to employers. Occasionally, the employer and employee may agree that the job is not working out. If this happens, the job coach can then step in to assess the situation and offer more support.

What are sponsor organisations?

The EmployAbility Service works through sponsor organisations. These are often community and voluntary organisations in your local area that provide direct services to people with disabilities. These sponsor organisations have job coaches who provide supports for jobseekers with a disability, and for employers.

Do I have to pay to use the EmployAbility Service?

Using the EmployAbility Service is free. You do not have to pay for any of the supports you receive.

When you get a job through this service, you have the same employment rights as other employees. For example, your employer will pay your salary and you will agree the terms and conditions of employment in the same way as other employees

What grants and supports are available?

The DSP funds a range of supports aimed at helping people with a disability to get and keep a job.

Supports for employers:

Grants for jobseekers:

How to apply

You should register with your local Intreo centre or Social Welfare branch office and apply for the EmployAbility Service.

You can read more about working with a disability.

Where to apply

Page edited: 4 August 2022