Workshop boosts disability confidence
Mon 20 February 2017
Labour force participation rates for people with disability haven't improved in the last 20 years, and the figures are worsening.
In an attempt to tackle this, the Australian Network on Disability launched High Growth Jobs Talented Candidates (HGJTC); an innovative program that matches people with disability with employers looking for candidates in high growth industries. The unique program aims to build employers’ confidence and capability to effectively welcome people with disability to their workplace.
Last week we were delighted to welcome five disability employment providers working with us to deliver the HGJTC project for a special provider workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to share the learnings of the project so far, as well as ideas to further the aims of the project.
The project, funded by the NSW Government, and in partnership with Social Ventures Australia, is working to engage and equip eight employers in the knowledge, health and social assistance and food and accommodation services industries to become more welcoming of employees with disability.
We’ve partnered with Aspect Capable, OCTEC, MAX Employment, the ORS Group, and Vision Australia to prepare and support candidates into employment with participating employers. To date, the project has successfully placed 18 candidates with four employers; Compass Group, Fujitsu, Life Without Barriers and Uniting. Each employer has already requested more candidates, and all employees have happily remained in their jobs.
“It’s exciting. I never thought I could get a position like this. People are so welcoming and helpful. It’s the best job ever,” said one Compass Group employee.
Work is currently underway to prepare candidates and employers for recruitment at Insurance Australia Group (IAG) and Accor Hotels over the next few weeks.
Workplace adjustments were a key feature of the workshop. This included the advice to help employers understand that adjustments can be as simple as reducing glare from overhead lighting, or shifting start times to avoid peak hour travel time.
ORS Group shared their learning from a more complex adjustment that is in progress at a Fujitsu warehouse. It potentially includes funding from JobAccess to cover the cost of cameras on a hi-rise forklift to assist an employee with low vision to work effectively. An adjustment of this nature will mean the employee can have a modified license based on using that specific forklift.a
All providers agreed that the work AND has been doing to engage employers and understand their organisations and specific roles has been valuable in helping them screen, prepare and match the right candidates for each job. Feedback from the workshop emphasised the importance and effectiveness of the disability confidence training delivered by AND to recruiters, managers and supervisors at the sites where candidates were being placed.
To find out more about High Growth Jobs Talented Candidates (HGJTC), please visit our website.