26 September 2023

National pilot to employ staff with disability

Start the conversation

A new pilot program is to be established to create more employment opportunities for Australians living with disability by connecting them with meaningful work in the visitor economy.

Announced by the Ministers for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth and Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, the Visitor Economy Disability Pilot is aimed at helping people living with disability secure ongoing jobs in tourism.

The Ministers said the Pilot would address barriers in recruiting, retaining and progressing staff with disability.

They said this included a lack of time or capability to recruit people living with disability, confusion on how or where to seek support, and employment service providers focused on only supporting jobseekers rather than employers.

Ms Rishworth said a new, targeted approach to supporting businesses experiencing skills and worker shortages would be tested through the Pilot, with the funding of place-based Local Navigators.

“The Navigators will be trialled over a 12-month period in regional locations,” Ms Rishworth said.

“They help support businesses to look for and place people living with disability into available jobs.

She said 88 per cent of people living with disability who wanted to work didn’t need any modifications to their workplace to do so.

“Employing someone living with disability should not be seen as a charitable act.

“It makes good business sense,” she said.

“When the visitor economy is crying out for workers, people living with disability should get opportunities to have meaningful careers in the sector,” Ms Rishworth said.

Mr Farrell said the tourism sector was one of the five growth industries identified as having significant job shortages and potential for growth in the next five years.

“There is capacity for people with disability to meet this demand, with research suggesting that more than 113,000 people with disability are currently unemployed or underemployed, and ready to work,” Mr Farrell said.

“The tourism sector is crying out for workers and if we can create pathways to open up jobs and careers for people living with disability in this sector it is a good thing for everyone.”

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.