Australian Government releases new Disability Employment Strategy – Employ My Ability
What you need to know
- Employ My Ability has been developed with Australia's Disability Strategy and is a ten-year plan
- Employ My Ability focuses on improving employment opportunities and careers for people with disability
- There are four key priority areas, including employers, employment skills, systems and services, and community perceptions
- NDS welcomes the actions and measures that aim to improve disability employment outcomes
The Australian Government has released Employ My Ability, its new Disability Employment Strategy.Employ My Ability has been developed alongside the Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031and is a ten-year commitment to improving employment opportunities for people with disability.
Employ My Ability has four priority areas. These include:
- Lifting employer engagement, capability and demand
- Building employment skills, experience and confidence of young people with disability
- Improving systems and services for job seekers and employers
- Changing community attitudes
Employ My Ability was developed following extensive consultation and research, and included input from a Disability Employment Advisory Committee. The committee was composed of people with disability, carers, employers, peak bodies, community organisations and government agencies.
During the research and consultation, it was found that people with disability clearly expressed a desire to work and wanted their skills and suitability for a role to be the primary consideration for employment. Employers want information and support that is easy to find and suits their business needs. Organisations representing people with disability want employment systems that empower people to have choice and control over their employment journey.
While many employers have made a public commitment to employing people with disability, support for building employer confidence will enable more people with disability to gain and retain work.
The Australian Government has said it will enhance information, tools and resources to support employers and reform its programs to ensure they are effectively supporting employers. The Government will test new approaches to inclusive employment practices as well as increase the number of people with disability employed in the Australian Public Service.
Building employment skills, experience and confidence will ensure young people with disability understand the nature of work and can choose an individualised transition pathway. They will then be more likely to successfully transition from school to work and gain the benefits of financial, social and community inclusion.
A lack of clear, accessible information for people with disability, their support networks and employers has meant a poor understanding of how systems work together including Centrelink, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Disability Employment Services (DES) and jobactive. A range of concerns with the current design of the DES program were raised by employers and job seekers indicating that it often does not meet their needs. Employ My Ability also identifies measures aimed at changing community attitudes and achieving a more inclusive society.
Employ My Ability has implementation and reporting arrangements including actions and measures relating to disability employment. Targeted action plans will focus on the achievement of specific deliverables and will be published in an annual progress report. Other reporting will include an Outcome Framework Report and Dashboard, an implementation report and two major evaluation reports released in 2024 and 2029. Reports will be published on the Australian Disability Strategy webpage.
NDS commends the Government for the timely release of Employ My Ability. As the recent Disability Royal Commission hearings revealed, there continues to be intractable barriers to people with disability both entering the workforce and retaining their employment.
NDS will continue to work closely with our members that provide open and supported employment options for jobseekers and employees with disability to ensure that their current low rate of employment participation is reversed.