Campaign to find 50 jobs for people with disability in 30 days
Mon 3 March 2014
Disability Employment Services in the North Coast of NSW region have joined together to launch a new campaign to find 50 of their clients with disability jobs by the end of March.
The Richmond Tweed region has an umemployment rate of 6.3%, higher than the 6% national average, so service providers are finding themselves in a very competitive employment marketplace.
Changing employer perceptions and getting them to focus on the person's ability rather than their disability has been the key challenge so far.
"One of the biggest issues I suppose is employer perceptions; quite often employers don't understand the nature of disability and it's difficult for people to comprehend the range of disability...people probably can't understand how somebody with a disability can help them." says the Australian Government's Department of Employment local coordinator Terry Watson.
Mr Watson says there are a range of reasons why people with disability tend to make great employees.
"They're very very dedicated because it is so difficult for them to get employment, so that means they're more reliable, they have less sick days, there's also quite a range of support available for them".
Paralympian Tracey Barrell, who has won two gold medals, and is raising two children, says finding a job has been the biggest challenge of her life.
"People sometimes talk to me like I'm deaf. I say 'I'm missing my legs, not my ears'." Tracey says.