Working to boost employment for Australians living with disability

The Albanese Labor Government will continue its important preparation for the September Jobs Summit with Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth to host a Disability Employment Roundtable on Monday in Canberra.

The Roundtable will bring together disability employment specialists, industry, business and importantly people with lived experience to discuss how to better support people with disability to find and maintain employment.

“The purpose of this Roundtable is to engage directly with professionals who engage with the disability employment sector to talk about how best we can overcome the barriers to employment people with disabilities face,” Minister Rishworth said.

Attendees at the Roundtable include the Tech Council of Australia, Australia Post and the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia.

The Government is seeking ideas and solutions that will feed into the Jobs and Skills Summit on 1-2 September at Parliament House.

The Disability Employment Roundtable will focus on three topics:

  • Discrimination and attitudinal barriers to employment
  • The roles of Government, employers, businesses and the community in programs that prepare and support people with disability into employment and employers to hire and support them, and
  • Building employment skills, experience and confidence of young people with disability.

“Hiring someone with disability should not be seen as an optional or charitable act,” Minister Rishworth said.

“People with disability bring diverse skills and experience and make significant contributions to the workplace.

“We know community attitudes are one of the biggest barriers to employment facing people with disability, and these discussions will allow us to reflect these experiences at the Jobs and Skills Summit in September.”

Tech Council of Australia chief executive Kate Pounder said the sector was one of the leading employers of people with disability but acknowledged there was more work to do.

“What we do know, is that around 1 per cent of people working in tech have a disability, the second highest among Australian sectors, but still much lower than the estimated 3 per cent of the working age population with disability,” Ms Pounder said.

“The TCA is committed to working with our members, government and other industry partners on developing better pathways to ensure all Australians have access to technology jobs.”

Council of Small Business Organisations Australia chief executive Alexi Boyd said a discussion around boosting employment options for people living with disability would go to addressing workforce shortages.

“We need to make sure everything is on table including the engagement with the disability sector,” Ms Boyd said.

“We need to ensure those who are able to and want to work are getting all the opportunities they can to do so.”