$20 million to help employers hire people living with disability

Businesses will be better supported to break down barriers to employment with $20 million in grant funding to ensure more Australians living with disability, who want to work, have the opportunity to do so.

The Building Employer Confidence and Inclusion in Disability (BEC) grants made under the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Program will build the ability of employers to hire, support and retain employees with disability and create inclusive workplaces by breaking down attitudinal barriers.

The successful applications cover a broad range of disability types across all states and territories, and range in value from $439,000 to $815,000. The funding will be provided to organisations who will work with employers to provide what they need to ensure their workplace can best accommodate people living with disability.

Almost 2.1 million people with disability are of working age in Australia. However, 93 per cent of unemployed people aged 15-64 with disability experience difficulties in finding employment.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Australian Government is committed to a better life for Australians with disability including improving the connection between education and employment to drive real, tangible life outcomes for people with disability.

“This includes working to support employers to understand and work with people with disability to create inclusive workplace cultures that allow people with disability to thrive,” Minister Rishworth said.

“We are proud to be working alongside these organisations to achieve this vision. These grants will add to the important initiatives achieved in disability employment at the Jobs and Skills Summit.

“Hiring a person living with disability should not be seen as a charitable act. It makes good business sense.”

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill Shorten said the grants will support equal opportunities for people with disability and improve their employment pathways, regardless of whether they are NDIS participants or not.

“These grants form part of the Government’s wider commitment to improving the services and opportunities outside the NDIS.”

“We know that finding and keeping a job, alongside work and career opportunities are often rated as the most important issues for people with disability,” said Minister Shorten.

“Only 53 per cent of people with disability are in the labour force compared with 84 per cent of those without disability. There is a pool of talented people available and we all need to work together to break down the barriers that stop them from gaining and retaining meaningful employment.”

The grant opportunity was an open and competitive selection process with more than 300 applications received.

Developed in association with Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031, Employ My Ability is the government’s Disability Employment Strategy and 10-year commitment to improving employment opportunities for people with disability.

To see the full list of successful applicants visit the Community Grants Hub website.