Queensland employers are urged to rethink recruitment practices and tap into a pool of work-ready talent – people with disabilities.
This is being implemented by the Palaszczuk Government via its Good People. Good Jobs:Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032 which will use its Workforce Connect Fund (worth $20 million)which supports innovative approaches to recruiting andretaining its workforce.
The Workforce Connect Fund will also provide funding to small businesses that identify an immediate need for new and innovative HR solutions to support their business, such as providing for changed work practices to ensure Queenslanders with a disability have opportunities for employment with them.
The Queensland Workforce Strategy also establishes a network of Industry-based Workforce Advisers to assist businesses in diversifying their workforces.
The Palaszczuk Government is also assisting people with a disability to gain employment via its Skilling Queenslanders for Work, and Back to Work programs.
The programs assist people with a disability by: allowing those aged 15, and over who are no longer at school to access supported learning pathways which cater to their needs, payments for those already working between eight, and 20 hours a week, and incentive payments for employers who hire people with a disability.
Employment Minister Di Farmer said this year’s Disability Action Week, launched today, encourages businesses to consider the benefits of hiring the one-in-five Queenslanders with disability.
“Workforce diversity means having staff with a range of life experiences,” Ms Farmer said.
“This is a call to action for leaders in all organisations to build inclusive workplace cultures, and the benefits will follow.
“The Australian Business Council website lists 10 reasons why inclusive workplaces are good for business, including opening up a wider talent pool, building the consumer base, and lower absenteeism and turnover.”
Minister Farmer said Disability Action Week, which runs from 26 November to 2 December this year, recognises the contributions people with disability make to our families, workplaces and communities, and to Queensland’s economy.
“The 2022 campaign theme, “Workforce diversity: open up to opportunity”, encourages employers to consider the actions they can take to tap into a pool of skilled and qualified candidates — and reap the benefits of a diverse workforce,’’ she said.
“It’s also important to remember that the Queensland Government funds programs to support small businesses, as well as disability peak services that can provide information and support to help make workplaces more inclusive and accessible.’’
Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Heidi Cooper joined the campaign to encourage Queensland employers to embrace workforce diversity as a key to success in 2023 and beyond.
“Queensland is Australia’s fastest growing state. Business confidence remains high and our unemployment rate is at record lows,” she said.
“Employers wanting to make the most of the many opportunities ahead need to attract candidates with diverse skills, strengths and experiences, including people with disability.
“Diverse businesses are successful businesses, and we know that employers who are already recruiting from this cohort are already reaping the benefits diversity delivers for their businesses.”
For more information about the Disability Action Week 2022 campaign visit qld.gov.au/daw