Many people with disability are keen to work but finding the right job and overcoming discrimination can be a challenge. Will new measures for disability employment announced in the budget be enough?
The 2015 budget contains $25million over four years which, according to the government, will “start to shape Disability Employment toward a new model in 2018.”
The funding will be used to create the JobAccess Gateway which is essentially an online service centre for people with disability and employers to connect with each other.
In another measure, many people who work in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) or workshops will now be able to access support from a Disability Employment Services provider to support them to find a job in the open market. Up until now, those people would have had to resign their job at an ADE to be able to use those services.
Young people in Transition to Work programs will also be able to engage with Disability Employment Services at the same time for up to six months which will help make a smoother transition into employment for many young people with disability.
The budget also sets aside $17million for business development initiatives for ADEs to ensure they are sustainable for the long term and are geared up for the NDIS roll out. While it’s a start, many in the sector are not convinced this will be enough to achieve what it needs to.
There are also concerns around the new employment benchmark for Disability Employment Services providers who must ensure a person with a disability is employed at least 23 hours a week if they are assessed as being able to. Previously they only needed to be employed for 15 hours in order for the service provider to receive a fee from government.
While we all want to see Disability Employment Services place people in work that meets their needs, there are concerns about the financial viability of these Services and this could be a backward step.
You can see more on the announcements on disability in the Federal budget in Scott Morrison’s media release.