More Australians Using Disability Employment Services
16 February 2009 at 2:57 pm
More Australians with disabilities are using Australian Government employment services according to new figures contained in the Australian Government Disability Services Census 2007 report.
Over 82,000 people used open and supported employment services to help them find a job – an increase of over seven per cent on the previous year.
Of these, over 61 per cent were employed for some or all of the time during the 2006/07 financial year.
People with intellectual disability using the services were most likely to be employed (84.1 per cent) while those with a physical or psychiatric disability face the greatest challenges in finding employment.
The Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin says while the numbers were encouraging there was still much to be done to support people with disability enter and stay in the workforce.
The Census report shows that women are under-represented in using services and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians lag behind.
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten says many businesses in Australia were recognising the value of employing people with disability and giving them the same rights and responsibilities as other workers.
In 2006-07, a total of 1,210 disability service outlets received funding from the Australia Government, an increase of 342 (39.4%) disability service outlets on 2005-06. The introduction of initiatives related to Welfare to Work reforms from July 2006 were the major source of this growth.
The vast majority (1,072 or 88.6%) of disability service outlets provided specialist disability employment assistance, with 657 (54.3%) providing open employment assistance and 415 (34.3%) supported employment assistance. A further 72 (6.0%) disability service outlets provided advocacy services, 51 (4.2%) respite services, 13 (1.1%) print disability services and two (0.2%) information services.
The survey found that based on the major city/non-major city breakdown of the general Australian population, there was a good balance of disability service outlets located in regional and remote areas (45.0%). Disability service outlets providing open employment, supported employment, advocacy and respite services operated in all geographic locations.
A total of 342,688 paid staff hours in the reference week were spent on disability service outlet operations in 2006-07. Based on a 38-hour working week, a total of 9,018 FTE paid staff worked in disability service outlets across Australia in 2006-07.
This equates to an average of 7.5 FTE paid staff in each disability service outlet.
There were 1,437 (19.0%) more FTE paid staff working in disability service outlets in 2006-07 than were in 2005-06, up from 7,581. Most FTE paid staff worked in the supported employment sector, some 5,595 (62.0%).
Disability service outlets also reported 4,826 hours of volunteer support in a typical week in 2006-07, or an equivalent of another 127 FTE staff. This represents 1.4% of paid staff hours. Advocacy services were most likely to use the support of volunteers to supplement day-to-day service outlet operations, with volunteer support hours representing 17.7% of paid staff hours.
The report can be found at: