Government Offers $10 Million in Grants to Grow NDIS Workforce
Thursday, 22nd November 2018 at 4:03 pm
The federal government is offering $10 million in grants to disability service providers with innovative ideas to grow the National Disability Insurance Scheme workforce.
Applications for the first round of Jobs and Market Fund (JMF) grants were opened on Thursday by Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher and Assistant Social Services Minister Sarah Henderson.
The $45.6 million JMF looks to support targeted projects that will grow the NDIS provider market and workforce.
Announced during this year’s federal budget, these grants recognise the need for the disability workforce to double from 73,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2013 to about 162,000 jobs by 2020.
Fletcher said the government wanted to help fund innovative projects.
“This includes projects that help address under-supplied markets, including in rural and remote Australia, and build the evidence base for NDIS market and workforce growth,” Fletcher said.
Henderson added that projects could include piloting new delivery models for rural and remote areas, or delivering digital platforms such as online therapy or service coordination hubs.
“They could be ideas involving co-design of services with participants, or the development of toolkits to support workers to transition to the disability sector,” Henderson said.
“Priorities for funding under future JMF grants rounds include the development of rural and remote markets, and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to provide NDIS services.”
This announcement comes after disability service providers recently warned they were struggling to survive the transition to the NDIS.
Research from National Disability Services (NDS) found 63 per cent of providers found it difficult to recruit disability support workers.
A parliamentary committee has also been critical of the lack of national strategy to grow the NDIS workforce and address crucial shortages.
Despite this, the government has said it has already committed around $190 million to initiatives supporting providers to transition to the NDIS and grow their workforces.
Applications for the JMF close on 17 January 2019.