A concept bringing employers and people with a disability together for a day could be another solution in reducing unemployment levels.
‘AccessAbility Day’ is a new federal government initiative that, by creating a space for networking, aims to promote better understanding and open up opportunities.
Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services Jane Prentice says “we must do better” if people living with a disability are to be properly represented in the workforce.
“The unemployment rate for people with disability is double the rate for Australians without disability,” she says.
“Recent research from the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Network on Disability shows businesses employing people with disability consistently report competitive advantage, improved productivity and a better workplace culture.”
In it’s first year, AccessAbility Day will be piloted in several locations across Australia, including Gosford (New South Wales); Bunbury (Western Australia); Hobart (Tasmania); Maryborough, Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Logan (Queensland) and Elizabeth (South Australia).
“I encourage local businesses and jobseekers with disability in the trial locations to participate in AccessAbility Day and see the potential it can bring,” Mrs Prentice says.
People with Disabilities WA Executive Director Samantha Jenkinson says that people with disability have many talents and strengths to suit different workplaces, which can be of great benefit to businesses.
“People with disability, such as myself, experience the world from a different perspective,” Mrs Jenkinson says.
“They can see problems or issues from a different angle and find solutions that others wouldn’t think of. In a workplace this is a really valuable quality.”
Employers and people with disability can participate in AccessAbility Day on any day from 4-8 December.
People with disability must be registered as looking for work with a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider and complete the online registration form to be eligible to participate in AccessAbility Day.
A DES provider can also help participating employers plan, organise and facilitate AccessAbility Day placements.
To register your interest or find out more, visit www.jobaccess.gov.au/accessabilityday, call 1800 464 800 or contact your local DES provider.
If you use a TTY phone, call 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 464 800.