Improving Disability Employment Study


IDES is a longitudinal study which aims to provide evidence about how people with disability obtain and sustain long-term employment. This research investigates the financial and health impacts of different employment outcomes on people with disabilities. The findings will identify ways to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities and contribute to new government policies and models of service delivery.

IDES is a national, prospective cohort study of first-time jobseekers with a disability. Australians with disability are less likely to be in paid work and relative to other Australians they are more likely to be over-educated for their jobs, have lower earnings and poorer job satisfaction. Previous research on employment services for people with disabilities has collected data from service providers and employers. This is the first time in Australia that detailed data will be collected from people with disabilities who attend employment services.

The main objectives are to identify the following:

  1. Jobseekers’ aspirations and expectations of employment services and workplaces
  2. Individual and service-related characteristics supporting jobseekers in gaining and maintaining employment
  3. The characteristics of workplaces, jobs and employment services that contribute to sustained and meaningful employment

Research Team

Professor Anne Kavanagh, University of Melbourne
Professor Tony La Montagne, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Allison Milner, University of Melbourne
Professor Helen Dickinson, UNSW
Dr Cathy Vaughan, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Bec Bentley, University of Melbourne
Stefanie Dimov, University of Melbourne