Consultation from people with a disability, their families and carers and those in the disability and employment sectors are being called upon for a discussion paper about employment recently released by the Australian government.
Their feedback is expected to play an important role in helping shape the future of supported employment.
The discussion paper - titled Ensuring a Strong Future for Supported Employment - poses questions to encourage discussion around three core policy areas.
The core policy areas include strategies in supporting employment participation for people with a disability, providing effective employment opportunities by employers and providers and strengthening the role of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to enable employees to reach their goals.
Minister for Social Services Christian Porter believes that community feedback is crucial in further assisting the large number of workers that currently receive the support and those who may gain employment.
“Supported employment plays a vital role in improving the social and economic participation of many people with a disability in Australia,” Minister Porter says.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to ensuring Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) are strong and viable businesses, so they can continue to provide effective employment outcomes for Australia’s 20,000 workers currently in supported employment, as well as those who wish to join the workforce in the future,” he says.
This commitment is expected to see $220 million in annual funding for supported employees to access supports and a further $180 million for the ADEs to adjust to new wage arrangements for supported employees and transition to the NDIS.
Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services Jane Prentice says the Government wants to hear from people with disability and the sector more broadly to inform a future supported employment policy.
“It is critical we hear from those working in and running ADEs” she says.
“We also want to hear from employees’ families and carers, and the disability sector to inform the policy development for supported employment.
“The government has extended Disability Employment Assistance for eligible ADEs for up to two years to support ongoing service provision to ensure ADE businesses can thrive in the new environment with the NDIS.”
The Department of Social Services will hold various workshops and interviews with stakeholders during the consultation process.