Release type: Joint Media Release


Funding to break down the barriers of disability employment


The Hon Kate Ellis MP
Minister for Early Childhood, Childcare and Youth
Minister for Employment Participation

The Australian Government will provide $150,000 for the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations to help champion disability employment in Australia.

Employment Participation Minister Kate Ellis and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth made the announcement at a DisabilityCare forum in Adelaide today.

“The funding will support a policy team within AFDO in addressing barriers to workforce participation and employment for people with disability,” Ms Ellis said.

“AFDO is a primary national voice to Government that fully represents the interests of all people with disability across Australia.

“The project will begin immediately and is designed to help AFDO improve its ability to engage governments, employers and disability groups in policy development and advice to help ensure more people with disability can get into the workforce.

“The funding will help AFDO build on its considerable experience in advocating at all levels of government and industry for increased employment opportunities for people with disability.”

Ms Rishworth said it was a matter of national interest that every Australian who can work is able to enjoy the economic security and dignity that work brings.

“Not only is it important to give every Australian the chance to make their own way in the workforce, but ensuring Australians with disability can make a contribution in the workplace makes good business sense,” Ms Rishworth said.

“There are many businesses looking for skilled workers, and there are many unemployed Australians with disability who have the required skills or are prepared and able to learn them if just given the chance.

“This Government, through investments like this I announce today, is eager to continue to work with Australian businesses to create more jobs for Australians with disability, for the benefit of those individuals and the continued success of the businesses that employ them.”

Ms Ellis said the funding announced today delivers further support to people with disability in finding sustainable employment.

“One of the Government’s most important reforms was abolishing caps and quotas from the disability employment system," she said.

“There has been nearly a 50 per cent increase in the number of people receiving employment support services, and job placements have doubled since the Government uncapped services for people with disability,” Ms Ellis said.