Australia To Assist People With Disabilities In Furthering Their Jobs



The professional Pathways Pilot is an 18-month project that the Australian government began with the goal of improving professional options for people with disabilities.

Originating from the Jobs and Skills Summit, the program is a joint venture between the Australian Network on Disability, the Business Council of Australia, and the Commonwealth. Notable employers such as Coles Group, Compass Group, Kmart and Target Group, and Woolworths are also involved.

The pilot effort that has a funding budget of A$3.3 million (US$2.16 million) in Commonwealth financing, will first target over 80 Australians with disabilities.This is done with the hope that the outcomes will benefit a large number of individuals.

Around 2.1 million out of the 4.4 million handicapped Australians are of working age. However, only 53.4% of the population is now employed. Furthermore, for more than three decades, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities has been significantly greater than that of those without disabilities.

One of the program’s goals aims to remove widespread myths regarding the ability of people with impairments.

Although 88% of working-age persons with impairments do not need adaptations to succeed in their jobs, 93% have trouble finding work owing to personal restrictions.

Related link: Singapore: More Businesses Use Pay Credits To Hire People With Disabilities

The campaign tries to influence companies’ opinions about hiring people with disabilities by emphasising the benefits of doing so.

“Boosting disability employment shouldn’t just be about any job, it should provide pathways to career progression too,” stated Amanda Rishworth, Australia’s Minister for Social Services. “We know that disability-inclusive businesses grow profits more than four times faster than their peers,” she added.

The pilot program will use a co-design methodology, actively include individuals with disabilities in the development of the program to make sure their needs are met. Employers will be able to broaden their emphasis beyond entry-level occupations to encompass managerial positions by using the specialist recruiting skills, tools, and resources available to them in order to recruit and support persons with disabilities.

“This initiative will lead to increased, sustainable and measurable improvements in employment and career advancement outcomes for people with disability,” said Bran Black, CEO of the Business Council of Australia.

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