NDIS data drop reveals severe employment gaps
31 July 2019 at 3:30 pm
Nearly half of all employed National Disability Insurance Scheme recipients over 25 are working for an Australian Disability Enterprise, while just 33 per cent are working in mainstream employment at full award wages, new data has revealed.
Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs), which provide supported employment opportunities, have been criticised by some disability advocates for paying very low wages, and because less than 1 per cent of employees move into mainstream employment.
The latest data found 35 per cent of employed NDIS recipients aged 15 to 24 worked for ADEs, while 41 per cent worked in open employment at full award wages.
Fourteen per cent of people worked in open employment at less than full award wages and for people 25 and above, that figure sat at 10 per cent.
These findings, publicly released on Tuesday, are part of the first round of NDIS data collected from participants, their families, carers and providers.
Romola Hollywood, People With Disability Australia director of policy and advocacy, said the newly-released data showed how well the NDIS was working, and which areas needed work.
She pointed to employment as an area of particular concern, and said she hoped it would encourage the government to reevaluate policies around disability employment.
“We think that it’s really important the NDIA has its staffing cap removed… and improves staff training so that we can lift the quality of plans and ensure that the goal setting around moving into open employment is included in plans,” Hollywood told Pro Bono News.
“The plans could be looking much more at what supports are needed in order to support people into employment.”
The data did reveal positive improvements across various domains, including children’s development, community participation, personal relationships and choice and control for people with disability since the NDIS began.
NDIS Minister Stuart Robert said he was committed to open information sharing and added there was more data to come.
“As demonstrated with today’s release, the data will build a clear and accurate picture of what is working in the NDIS and what challenges we need to overcome to ensure long-term outcomes for participants,” Robert said.
Hollywood encouraged the rest of the sector to make the most of the data for future policy planning that went beyond the NDIS.
“It’s important to be looking at how the NDIS is functioning, but also looking at where there might be a need for a broader policy change calling for a national jobs plan,” she said.
See the full release of data here.