Australia introduces pilot project for disability employment

People with disabilities will benefit from the programme as it explores innovative approaches to drive change in the workplace.
By: | January 9, 2023

An agreement between the Australian government and the Business Council of Australia (BCA) has been signed to create and implement a new employment pilot for people with disabilities.

Amanda Rishworth, Minister for Social Services, said that the collaboration will improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities while exploring new approaches to drive organisational cultural change and building corporate capacity to expand opportunities for advancement and development.

There are 2.1 million Australians with disabilities who are of working age, but only 53.4% are employed, according to Rishworth. Furthermore, she noted that 93% of working-age individuals with disabilities face difficulties finding employment due to a lack of suitable employment opportunities and perceived limitations of their disabilities. This new employment pilot, she added, seeks to address these issues and provide benefits to people with disabilities, employers and businesses, the economy and the broader community.

Several of Australia’s largest employer groups have participated in a workshop, along with disability employment experts, to discuss challenges and identify opportunities to inform the approach of the pilot.

“We have been working closely with the BCA to co-design a demand-driven model for job seekers with disabilities and employers to build an inclusive, safe and supportive workplace culture for people with disabilities to thrive in their careers,” she said.

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Through targeted measures, she explained, businesses can meet their staffing, operational and strategic needs while enabling employees to meet their career aspirations. “Together, we will create and implement an employment pilot aimed at creating an inclusive and supportive workplace culture for people with disabilities, a key outcome of Australia’s Disability Strategy,” she concluded.