Employment and economic participation

The Shifting the Dial on Employment forums provided an opportunity to showcase, discuss and provide feedback on supports and services that enable people with disability to gain employment. Discussion at the forum on 6 February included the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Economic Participation Grant Round for people with disability. 

A summary from this forum is available below to ensure all potential applicants for this grant round have access to the information that was provided and discussed.

Setting the scene 

Two presentations of existing initiatives were provided. Each presentation showcased, in a different way, solutions, approaches and models that have enabled people with disability to gain employment. 

The forum also received a brief presentation on the upcoming ILC Economic Participation Grant round for people with disability. The presentation highlighted that: 

  • The round will open shortly, with up to $19.9 million (GST inclusive) available to fund new activities which complement existing government initiatives. 
  • The round will help lay foundations for the Economic and Community Participation Program that is part of the new ILC Investment Strategy 
  • Consistent with all ILC grant rounds, activities that are funded under other Government initiatives will not be funded through this grant round. For example activities that are funded through: NDIS Participant Plans; Disability Employment Services or Australian Disability Enterprises

Following the presentations, attendees were asked to discuss ideas and solutions that would enable people with disability to find and keep employment.

Ideas and solutions

Capacity building for employers - summary of group discussions

Ideas and solutions proposed include:

  • Building on existing initiatives, where possible, to scale them up and replicate their successes  
  • Articulating what employers want more clearly – what employment skills are they looking for, and who teaches them?
  • Supporting collaboration between employers and schools, and building better pathways from work experience into paid work;
  • Improving coordination, information sharing and resource allocation between people with disability who have NDIS plans, Disability Employment Services and employers.

Pathways to employment – summary of group discussions

Ideas and solutions proposed include:

  • Strategies to build parental aspirations for their children from a young age; educating families when they have a baby that ‘it’s ok to have a dream’; ‘give people the belief that they can have a job’; ‘build self-esteem and self-belief’; Engaging parents early – shifting beyond the medical deficit model to talk about what people can do - increase quality of advice; 
  • Building aspirations for careers starting at school; ensuring work experience is effective and available to all school children with disability; combined skill development during work experience – at age 18-25 identify developing skills;
  • Ensuring NDIS employment funding is available from age 15 years and up, automatically included in plans;  
  • Providing help with steps along a career path, rather than jumping to specific jobs;
  • Assigning someone from NDIA to liaise with employment service providers and Local Area Coordinators to maximise coordination and collective effort;
  • 'Are you getting the message?' - ask the person with disability, they’ll have the answer; national marketing campaign; use peer support to spread good news stories.
This page current as of
14 February 2019