Guide, place, support and empower young people

Meaningful work, every day.

Purpose-driven work

You can make a meaningful difference to the lives of young people every day. 

IPS vocational specialists play a pivotal role within youth mental health services by creating opportunities for young people to reach their work and study goals.

Why work in IPS?

You’re not just changing their lives, they’re changing yours too. Here are just some of the reasons to consider a career in IPS:

Make a difference to young people

You’ll support young people experiencing mental ill-health to achieve their work or study goals.

Community work

You won’t be stuck at a desk! You’ll be out and about in your community, assisting young people to meet employers and education providers.

Work with others

You’ll spend time building networks with a wide range of stakeholders, including: employers, educators, young people and their supporters.

Every day is different

IPS work involves a diverse range of daily tasks, such as: defining career goals, liaising with clinicians, and working with employers and education providers.

Every day is different

IPS work involves a diverse range of daily tasks, such as: defining career goals, liaising with clinicians, and working with employers and education providers.

Help young people grow

You’ll help to develop career opportunities tailored to the needs of each young person you work with.

Change the world

Every young person deserves the chance to reach their potential. By introducing employers and education providers to the opportunity to support young people, you’ll be part of the fight against mental health stigma.

What IPS workers are saying

Pathways for IPS careers

Become an IPS Supervisor

IPS supervisors provide ongoing support to both IPS vocational specialists, vocational peer workers, and the mental health service providers they work for to improve IPS program performance.

Become a fidelity reviewer

A fidelity reviewer is responsible for observation, interview and document review activities to ensure programs are achieving IPS model fidelity.

Become a professional support facilitator

Professional support facilitators are experienced practitioners who can provide professional guidance to IPS vocational specialists.

Frequently asked questions

IPS involves the co-location of vocational specialists and mental health teams who work collaboratively to support young people with mental ill-health into work and study.

IPS is evidence-based, and is the most effective supported employment and education program used in mental health services worldwide. 

IPS vocational specialists spend significant time in the community, creating and maintaining networks with employers, education providers and other career support services to create new opportunities for young people in the program.

Working as an IPS vocational specialists is diverse and engaging, and each day can look different.

IPS vocational specialists may be sitting in a coffee shop supporting a young person to define their career goals, setting up a work site visit with an employer to explore opportunities for a young person or attending a clinical review to better understand how a young person is progressing with their treatment plan. 

A significant amount of an IPS vocational specialists’ time is spent in the community building relationships with a wide range of stakeholders – employers, education providers, young people and their families.

A career in IPS gives you the opportunity to empower young people experiencing mental ill health to engage in work and study.

A role as an IPS vocational specialist is meaningful and purpose driven, where you will have the opportunity to play an active role in the vocational development and functional recovery of a young person experiencing mental ill health.

You will become an active and engaged member of your local community as you help foster a better career and overall wellbeing for a young person, and help to support their family and the broader community.

IPS provides individualised support to any person with mental ill-health who wants to work, regardless of circumstances.

The IPS model is tailored to the person’s preferences for employment and education, is voluntary and continues for as long as the participant wants and needs the service.

IPS is focused on helping the person to find work or study that is personally meaningful and fulfilling.

There are no pre-requisites required to become an IPS vocational specialist in Australia.

IPS vocational specialists often come from a wide range of background, qualifications and experience including youth work, employment services, career development, human resources, education and many more.

IPS vocational specialists are confident, empathetic, focused on continuous learning and flexible to young people’s, employers’ and education providers’ changing and emerging needs.

IPS vocational specialists are required to have a very broad skill set which may include:

  1. A passion for working with people with mental ill health  
  2. An ability to work effectively with a range of stakeholders 
  3. Strong information management skills 
  4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  5. Effective employer and education provider engagement 

However, there is no expectation on an IPS vocational specialist to have all these skills from the moment that they begin the role. IPS vocational specialists are provided with onboarding, formal training and are expected to develop their skills and competencies over time.

Orygen’s Youth IPS Centre of Excellence offers a range of face to face and online training, as well as supervision and coaching services for IPS vocational specialists.

IPS programs can be found in every state and territory across Australia. IPS programs are prominent in metropolitan, rural and regional locations.

Contact us or enquire about IPS programs at your local mental health service provider.

Next steps

Train with us

Ready to take the next step in your IPS career? Check out our upcoming training opportunities and events.

Supervision and coaching

Need support in your IPS vocational specialist role? Our professional support facilitators are waiting for you!