A new “one-stop shop” to help overcome barriers to employing people with disability is closer to being realised after the Albanese Government published an options paper on a new Disability Employment Centre of Excellence. Source: The Australian.
The paper proposes the new centre, an election commitment, will support research into driving better employment outcomes for the nation’s 4.4 million people with disability.
Part of its ambit could be to develop training for employment service providers in the sector and address the shortage in regional, rural and remote areas, the paper suggests. It could also commission and publish research into employment strategies for people with disability and guide practice.
The issues paper notes there are about 2.2 million Australians of working age with a disability, almost half of whom are not in the labour force, as well as 2.65 million unpaid carers, many not working or working less than they want to.
“The unemployment rate for people with disability has not shifted in more than two decades and people with disability face a rate of unemployment three times that of people without disability,” the report notes.
“In addition to this, people with disability face increased rates of discrimination, with nearly half (45.2 per cent) of all employed people with disability reporting they had experienced unfair treatment or discrimination from their employer due to their disability in the past 12 months.”
The Government said it recognised the need to improve the quality of employment support services, especially in the wake of the disability royal commission’s final report that called out the issue for action.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth called for feedback on the design of the new centre for excellence, saying “it is clear more needs to be done to support people with disability into meaningful, appropriately paid work”.
New disability employment centre of excellence taking shape (By Stephen Lunn, The Australian)