News | 27 May 2015

Jobs boost or just another inquiry?


Just 52.9 per cent of the 2.2 million Australians of working age with disability are working or are looking for work – compared to 82.5% of people without disability. It’s a low figure internationally.

And despite the Government spending $1 billion a year on disability employment support, only one third of people using Assisted Disability Employment Services (ADES) get the outcomes they want – either the jobs aren’t there, they’re not suitable or they just don’t work out.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that diversity in their employees helps businesses be seen as an employer of choice, better reflects the diversity of their clients and makes their company more creative.

Are disability employment services failing? Are people with disability being given the skills employers are looking for? Is discrimination too big a barrier to overcome? How can the NDIS help?

This week the Federal disability minister Mitch Fifield announced that every aspect of the system will be looked at closely to see what’s not working and why.

The Government has just released an issues paper, ahead of eleven public forums across the country, a more detailed discussion paper later this year, and a new “framework” in 2016.

“People with disability should have the same opportunity as other Australians to participate in employment and enjoy the benefits that work brings,” Disability Minister Mitch Fifield said.

“We want to hear from people with disability, their families and carers, employers and services providers, so we can develop a system that works for employers as well as people with disability and get more people with disability into jobs.”

The issues paper looks at nine specific areas the Government is seeking feedback on, including the role of the NDIS, which will give people with disability the choice of supports they need to get the job want.

Forums will be held in Adelaide, Bendigo, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Townsville during August and September.

A more detailed discussion paper will be released later this year based on feedback from this issues paper and what they hear at the community forums.

The final “framework” will set out how every cog in the employment system fits together to boost job opportunities and more importantly job satisfaction for workers with disability.

Read more about the Disability Employment Framework issues paper and the forums.

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