Priority needs to be given to genuine engagement with employers

Mon 8 April 2013

An opinion piece in today's Telegraph newspaper claims that Australia's jobless figures can be linked to an explosion of people on the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

At Australian Network on Disability, we have abundant evidence that people with disability can be highly skilled, competent and valuable employees.  However, this is a largely untapped talent pool, because the current system does not make it easy for employers.

A balanced long-term approach to boosting the employment of people with disability in Australia involves collaboration between employers, government funded employment services and government systems. The current programmes give little consideration to employers and the need for good job matching.  As a result, a high proportion of people with disability who commence employment do not reach the 26 week retention mark – DEEWR’s current definition of success.

In working towards the re-development of employment services 2015, a high priority needs to be given to genuine engagement with employers and the significant role they can play in assisting unemployed Australians with disability to shift from poverty to sharing in Australia’s prosperity.

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