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Education and Employment

Enhancing disability employment through extended JobAccess provider reach

businesswoman in wheelchair going through reports while working female coworker in the office.

The Albanese Labor Government has signed 54 additional JobAccess providers in 15-months, with the 400th employer now joining the scheme.

Funded by the Federal Government, JobAccess is Australia’s national hub for free workplace and employment information and supports for people with disability, employers and service providers to drive disability employment.

There are close to 2.1 million people with disability of working age in Australia, however the unemployment rate for people with disability is more than double that of those without disability and hasn’t shifted in more than two decades.

One of the key objectives under Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 is to increase rates of employment of people with disability.

Along with JobAccess, the Albanese Labor Government is building on employer confidence across a range of settings to renew focus on disability employment and turn the unemployment rate for people with disability around.

This includes:

  • Partnering with the Business Council of Australia and four employer members to pilot new ways to build the careers of employees with disability. Its purpose is to make it easier for people with disability to not only enter the workforce, but to find roles that match their skills and goals, and to advance in their careers
  • Releasing a new DES Quality framework, increasing the focus on government-funded Disability Employment Services meeting the needs of employers when supporting people with disability into work and embedding the views of people with disability in how quality is measured
  • Increasing the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) caps for the first time in 13-years, doubling funding for Auslan services and building modifications that make workplaces more accessible

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said an increasing number of employers recognise the skills and talents of people with disability, but may not know how to recruit or support them.

“There is a significant talent pool of workers available to employers to attract and retain job seekers with disability. It’s not just beneficial for the employee and for boosting disability employment, but it makes good business sense too,” Minister Rishworth said

“We want to create a society that leverages the strengths of people with disability and empowers employers to hire more people with disability. Everyone should have the right to secure employment.”

Since 2006, JobAccess has supported more than 440,000 people with disability and employers, including the 400 large employers partnered through the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC).

General Manager of JobAccess Daniel Valiente-Riedl said that, overall, Australian businesses lag behind other similar nations when it comes to employing people with disability.

“This is often due to lack of awareness about the benefits of hiring people with disability, and an incorrect perception that it may be difficult,” Mr Valiente-Riedl said.

“The good news is that the demand for programs like the NDRC tells us that businesses are open and keen to employing people with disability but need guidance on good practice. The NDRC fill this knowledge gap and it comes at no cost to employers.”

Torrens University Australia is the 400th employer to take advantage of the free JobAccess services.

Vice President People & Talent ANZ at Torrens University Hugo Monteiro Contente, said they were proud to partner with JobAccess and the NDRC and become more disability inclusive.

“With support from the NDRC, we will embark on our journey to become disability confident by removing potential barriers, improving our recruitment process and creating more opportunities for people with disability,” Mr Contente said.

More information about the JobAccess program and how to get involved with the NDRC is available on the JobAccess website at www.jobaccess.gov.au.

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