DSS announces Innovative Workforce Fund will fund 21 projects for $2.9M
Assistant Minister for Disability Services Jane Prentice has announced that 21 projects will receive grants of up to $200,000 each under the first round of the Innovative Workforce Fund (IWF).
The IWF is an initiative of the Department of Social Services with an allocation from the Sector Development Fund of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Successful disability organisations across Australia will share nearly $2.9M in funding to develop new ways of strengthening the disability workforce.
"The Australian Government is committed to supporting the disability sector and its workforce as we move towards the more competitive and individualised market of the NDIS," Mrs Prentice said.
"The breadth and variety of projects funded under this round of funding are a real testament to the innovation and ingenuity of Australia's disability sector," said Mrs Prentice.
NDS Chief Executive Ken Baker commented: "Support for new ways of engaging and deploying workers is extremely important. The NDIS demands that we not only scale up the workforce but create more personalised and productive workforce arrangements. That's how a high-quality, sustainable sector will be built."
A total of 168 applications were submitted under Round 1 of the IWF.
"To ensure a fair process, we established an Independent Advisory Group, including academics, disability support providers, peak bodies representing people with disability, carers and the mental health sector, and the National Disability Insurance Agency," Ken said.
The successful projects from the first round include training for support workers using virtual reality, encouraging young Indigenous Australians to consider a career in disability support, and developing a peer workforce model for LGBTIQ Australians.
"We look forward to supporting more innovative solutions in the second round of funding, and to sharing the ideas from both rounds widely so that all organisations have the opportunity to consider which promising practices to adopt," Ken said.
Applications for the second round of funding are now being considered, with successful projects to be announced soon. There is another $1.1 million in grants for the second round.
Find more information on the grants on the IWF webpage.