The Federal Government is backing the work of its newly established National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Participant Employment Taskforce with $19.9 million of grants for projects to boost employment for Australians with a disability.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, and Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson; have announced that an open, competitive grant process will launch early in 2019.
“The Economic Participation grants will back innovative proposals that build the capacity of people with disability to participate in work,” Mr Fletcher said.
“They will also support employers to create opportunities for people with disability.”
Mr Fletcher said the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Participant Employment Taskforce has had a productive first meeting and is focusing on initiatives to quickly address concerns raised by the disability sector.
“These will include changes to prioritise employment conversations in NDIS planning processes and addressing the delays some people face between finding a job and getting employment supports in their NDIS plan,” Mr Fletcher said.
“In consultation with the sector the Taskforce’s Terms of Reference have been drafted and these will be publicly released shortly on the Department of Social Services website.”
Assistant Minister Henderson said another outcome from the Taskforce’s first meeting was for the next round of NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grants to focus on creating opportunities for economic participation.
“We hope to see some creative and exciting proposals come forward through these grants including new and innovative ideas which complement Government’s established disability employment supports,” Ms Henderson said.
“This could include investing in volunteering as a pathway to employment, or activities which may assist people with a disability to pursue entrepreneurial routes to employment.”
Ms Henderson said the ILC grants program was a fundamental aspect of the NDIS, designed to empower people with disability to access their community and achieve their goals, which may include employment.
“An open, competitive grant round focused on improving the economic participation of people with disability will help to build the aspirations, confidence, skills and prospects of people with disability and maximise their work opportunities,” Ms Henderson said.
The Federal Government has already invested $82.7 million over the last two years in ILC funding to support organisations to deliver activities that promote the inclusion of people with disability.
Further information on the Economic Participation Grant Round is available on the NDIS website: www.ndis.gov.au.