Talented candidates with disability commencing work

Tue 25 October 2016

A smiling young man in a suit

Alarmingly, statistics show that Labour force participation rates for people with disability haven't improved in 20 years.

To address this, High Growth Jobs Talented Candidates (HGJTC) is an innovative program that matches people with disability with employers looking for candidates to fill roles in high growth areas.

The project started working with employers in March 2016 and is already having a big impact, with four candidates starting in permanent part-time roles with Compass-Westpac.

“I can’t thank you enough, everyone that has helped me get this job. I’m so happy, I’ve even been asked to work an extra shift tomorrow. This time last year, I cried every day, now I am just so happy! Everyone is so proud of me which feels great,” said one of the successful candidates.

Delivered by the Australian Network on Disability (AND), HGJTC is working with eight businesses employing around 57,000 staff nationally. There are a range of roles available from graduate and skilled to semi-skilled.

The process starts with the employers building their disability confidence through expert training provided by AND. Specific roles and sites are then identified and a Disability Employment Service (DES) provider or disability group such as Aspect Capable is engaged.

Working together, AND, the employer and the employment service invests time to gain a deep understanding of the job requirements.

A pre-employment training program provides candidates with basic skills prior to the interview and selection process, helping to ensure that the right person, with the right skills and attitude is found for each position. To date, 40 candidates have undergone pre-employment training and 12 will move into employment opportunities during October and November.

Feedback from participating businesses indicates that the demand led model is proving successful and helping to spread knowledge and change attitudes about disability. It is also hoped that it will have a positive impact for existing employees with disability who may need workplace adjustments. 

“It has been very eye opening and it is encouraging to learn so many easy and cost effective ways that we can implement this in the workplace,” said one staff member who attended AND’s disability confidence training.

"It has raised my awareness and I will look at our recruitment and induction processes,” said another.

Employers supporting the program include: Compass Group, Fujitsu, Uniting, Life Without Barriers, Australian Unity, Accor, IAG and Infosys.

HGJTC is an initiative of NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS). It is being delivered by the Australian Network on Disability. Social Ventures Australia provided the growth industry research and is undertaking the evaluation.

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