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NDIS Tipped to Create 1300 Jobs in NT

27 January 2017 at 2:58 pm
Wendy Williams
As many as 1,300 new jobs are set to be created in the Northern Territory by 2020 as a result of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Wendy Williams | 27 January 2017 at 2:58 pm


NDIS Tipped to Create 1300 Jobs in NT
27 January 2017 at 2:58 pm

As many as 1,300 new jobs are set to be created in the Northern Territory by 2020 as a result of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The figures, revealed in the National Disability Insurance Agency’s Northern Territory Market Position Statement (MPS), estimated a total workforce of between 2,150 and 2,700 at full scheme.

Minister for Social Services Christian Porter said that along with extra jobs, the disability services market in the territory was expected to double to $320 million.

“The significant growth in disability expenditure and intended increase in localised service delivery will contribute to improved local community capacity, economic opportunities and job creation,” Porter said.

“What this will look like is more than twice as many jobs and a big injection of dollars into the local market.

“Most importantly, an additional 3,345 people with permanent and significant disability in the Northern Territory will receive funded supports – an increase of 103 per cent, the second largest expected percentage increase of all states and territories nationally.

“This will drive increased demand for quality services, new products and technologies, increased jobs and strong economic growth right across the territory.”

The MPS is designed to inform current and prospective disability services providers, as well as disability stakeholders more broadly, of the opportunities the NDIS will create in coming years allowing providers and communities to make business decisions about how they can adapt to and grow within the new system.

Porter said local markets in the Northern Territory were already expanding and diversifying in response to participant demand.

“Since the introduction of the scheme in the Barkly in July 2014, there has been a 100 per cent increase in new providers servicing that area alone,” he said.

“The number of registered providers is steadily increasing right across the territory: at the end of September 2016, there were 111 registered providers, a massive 164 per cent increase since the end of trial in June 2016 when there were 42 providers.”

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services Jane Prentice said the territory’s unique geographic and cultural characteristics, with its high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents, had informed a community-by-community approach to the scheme rollout.

“The approach to NDIS rollout in the Northern Territory is co-designed with communities to address the need for a sustainable local supply of services for greater consumer choice,” Prentice said.

“This will ensure the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability are central to the design, delivery and services which directly affect them. It also recognises the unique characteristics of each community and the difference between urban, regional and remote Territory markets.

“The approach seeks to build capacity directly with communities, working closely with Aboriginal land councils, corporations and service providers. This will increase the opportunity for economic participation of people with disability and others in their communities.”

It comes as it was announced up to 1,100 jobs could also be created in the Toowoomba region in Queensland as the NDIS rolls out from this month.

Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke, who held a roundtable with representatives from the community, business and disability sectors to discuss the opportunities the scheme would bring, said by mid-2019 it would support more than 7,000 people with disability, spending an estimated $290 million every year.

“This massive growth in demand for services will provide plenty of opportunities for those who are looking for work or for a career change,” O’Rourke said.

“We will be looking for a range of roles such as support workers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, case managers, customer service and community engagement workers.

“There will also be great entrepreneurial opportunities for people to start up new businesses or branch out existing businesses to meet the growing demands.

“So far, across the state, we have seen ballet schools for children with disability and respite camping adventures starting up, just to name a few. There really are endless opportunities.

“We are encouraging people with disability, service providers and employment and training organisations to take advantage of these opportunities and to share their knowledge and experience.”

Meanwhile, the Australian government has announced it is providing a package of more than $15.3 million to help people prepare for the scheme, through the NDIS Sector Development Fund.

The SDF was established to assist the disability sector, including people with disability, their families, carers, services providers and workforce, transition to the new arrangements for disability support under the NDIS.

Prentice recently announced funding of more than $6 million for SDF projects in the Northern Territory.

“These projects will generate new solutions to existing challenges associated with disability and mental health service delivery, develop and implement new supports not currently used or available in local markets and increase the level of choice and control people with disability have in remote areas,” she said.

“Queensland will receive more than $5.8 million to expand the disability sector workforce by engaging, attracting and connecting people to jobs, assist small to medium providers in thin markets to expand their operations, and enable new disability service providers in rural and regional areas enter and operate sustainably in the NDIS environment.

“The Supported Independent Living Co-operative (SILC) project, will receive $270,000 to establish a national support network to help families of NDIS participants who want to set up shared housing arrangements with other families, so their loved ones can live independently.

“Funding for Tasmania will build the confidence and skill level of participants and ensure people with disability in Tasmania are confident and able to participate in the NDIS.”

Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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