Subscribe to News
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Social Affairs

Disability Sector Remains Suspicious Over Employment Taskforce


Monday, 19th November 2018 at 4:16 pm
Maggie Coggan
The federal government has unveiled a joint employment taskforce to tackle high rates of disability unemployment, but service providers have raised concerns about whether enough is being done to include people with disability in open employment opportunities.


Monday, 19th November 2018
at 4:16 pm
Maggie Coggan


1 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Disability Sector Remains Suspicious Over Employment Taskforce
Monday, 19th November 2018 at 4:16 pm

The federal government has unveiled a joint employment taskforce to tackle high rates of disability unemployment, but service providers have raised concerns about whether enough is being done to include people with disability in open employment opportunities.

Minister for Social Services, Paul Fletcher, and Assistant Minister for Social Services, Sarah Henderson, announced the scheme on Sunday and said the taskforce would include National Disability Insurance Scheme participant representatives, employment service providers and related organisations.

Fletcher said despite people with disabilities’ enthusiasm, commitment and good reputation as employees, they found it hard to get into the workforce.   

“About 14 per cent of working age people in Australia have a disability but people with disability comprise only nine per cent of the workforce,” Fletcher said.

Henderson said this would be a way to lift employment levels, as employment of NDIS participants had remained consistent at 22 per cent.

“Both the COAG NDIS Quarterly Report released yesterday, and the NDS State of the Sector Report released today, show that employment for people with a disability remains stubbornly low,” Henderson said.

Suzanne Colbert AM, CEO of Australian Network on Disability (AND), told Pro Bono News while AND welcomed the announcement, she was concerned the program was not engaging mainstream employers.

“It’s very important that people have as much opportunity as possible to participate in open employment… without employers at the table it might be that this is a system that isn’t best prepared to meet the needs of both stakeholders,” Colbert said.

She said at the moment, most employed NDIS participants were employed through disability enterprises, and were paid well below award rates, at $5.33 an hour.  

“If we don’t have employers on the table being able to provide enterprise solutions which we see for other disadvantaged groups then then we’re not really going to be able to make make progress,” she said.

“If the intention however is primarily for this employment taskforce to direct people to sheltered employment, it would mean Australia is taking a step backward.”

Chris Tanti, CEO of National Disability Services (NDS), said while Fletcher and the NDS have had discussions about lifting rates of employment in mainstream organisations, he didn’t believe the business sector were included in this particular discussion.

“I think it would be useful to include businesses, and potential future employers in that discussion as well… but there’s no visibility around any of that,” Tanti told Pro Bono News.

Colbert said she encouraged the rest of the disability sector to watch closely on how the taskforce was rolled out, and that AND would be encouraging the government to think about how they could encourage mainstream participation.

Tanti also said he believed this was a step in the right direction, as not enough was being done previously, but warned the correct people needed to be consulted.

“When you have a lopsided approach to things, you don’t get the results you need… and I do think this is a step in the right direction, but how it’s executed is critical,” he said.


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

One Comment

  • Avatar Kenneth-Clyde Ivory. says:

    Anything involving Paul Fletcher a former MSJ lawyer who has a less than reputable track record from when he was the 1996 to 2000 Chief of Staff to Senator Richard Alston when Communications Minister. Both are collectively implicated in what is the largest global stock market insider trading and market manipulation disclosure omission frauds. Moreover, I am currently a constituent of Sarah Henderson MP who is simply a nice lady, but Sarah is proven to be nothing more than political party controlled stooge, who is political party not allowed to assist me as a constituent. Sarah and Paul thereby are knowingly aiding and abetting in concealing indictable crimes and both Sarah & Paul have a duty of care as does the entire Executive Government under the constitution to report these referred to crimes directly to the Australian Federal Police, but they have not yet honourably or honestly done so. I am a first-hand survivor of those indictable crimes and price-sensitive frauds committed by corrupt officers of the Commonwealth of Australia who held corrupt dual conflicting loyalty pay packets to pervert justice for political protection.

    Thereby every one rightly has a need to be very suspicious of anything these two are involved in along with the Executive Government who are collusively implicated in aiding and abetting serious corruption and frauds.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Why an AAT ruling could shake-up NDIS funding

Luke Michael

Friday, 14th June 2019 at 4:16 pm

Familiar faces remain in Labor’s shadow ministry ‘refresh’

Luke Michael

Monday, 3rd June 2019 at 4:27 pm

Employment-focused social enterprise proves itself… with little support

Maggie Coggan

Friday, 31st May 2019 at 4:43 pm

Here’s what needs to happen to get the NDIS back on track

Contributor

Thursday, 30th May 2019 at 5:12 pm

POPULAR

Dealing with the trauma of youth homelessness

Luke Michael

Monday, 3rd June 2019 at 4:36 pm

Setting Aussie kids up for success

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 5th June 2019 at 4:13 pm

UK inquiry finds Oxfam failed to act on child sex abuse claims

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 12th June 2019 at 5:26 pm

Guide to Giving
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!