Engaging NSW Workers with a Disability
21 March 2016 at 10:14 am
NSW workers with a disability and organisations seeking to set a new benchmark in inclusive employment practices, are being urged to take part in a project called High Growth Jobs – Talented Candidates, set up by the Australian Network on Disability.
The project began last year with research to identify key industries in NSW where job growth was expected.
“Between 1998 and 2008 when Australia went through massive employment growth, people with a disability missed out,” Australian Network on Disability CEO Suzanne Colbert said.
“We are keen to find out how we can identify high growth industries so that skilled and talented people with a disability don’t miss out, and indeed can develop a career in those growing sectors and can share growth and opportunity.”
As part of the partnership with Social Ventures Australia and the NSW Government, extensive analysis of occupations was undertaken, and employers and industry engaged. Australian Network on Disability (AND) discounted some professions “on the basis that while they might have been projected to grow from a revenue perspective, they might not have projected growth from a jobs perspective”.
“For example even if mining grew from a revenue perspective, what we were interested in were jobs suitable for skilled in and talented candidates with a disability,” Colbert said.
Three areas were identified: knowledge including ICT, food and accommodation services and health and community services.
Colbert said health and community services would continue to present the most opportunities for employment partly because of the introduction of the NDIS and an ageing population.
“Not surprisingly there is a lot of enthusiasm, particularly where companies may have a skill shortage and a genuine desire to link with a new talent pool,” she said.
Colbert said the talent pools would comprise three groups including university students, semi-skilled people and those who would benefit most from having a job designed to play to their strengths.
“Rather than starting with a job in mind, we identify opportunities and appetites for customized roles. We could look at individuals with high support needs and then craft jobs around their needs,” she said.
AND said it has successfully engaged five organisations in the project and is in discussion with others.
“This is an aspirational project that has never been done before. It is hard to know how the numbers will land but all the indications are very positive,” Colbert said.
Tools and resources – an access and inclusion index – will be available to assist employers deliver an accessible and inclusive workplace for people with disabilities.
Organisations in NSW can contact the Australian Network on Disability for more information.