Release type: Media Release

Date:

Disability Employment Strategy consults in Adelaide

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O'Connor, today visited Savings and Loans Credit Union to discuss ways to increase employment of people with disability and/or mental illness.

This visit was part of consultations held in Adelaide today for the Rudd Government's National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy.

The strategy is looking at addressing the barriers people with disability and/or mental illness face in finding and retaining a job.

"Despite 17 years of strong economic growth, Australia is ranked a disappointing 13 out of 19 OECD countries in employment rates for all people with a disability," Mr O’Connor said.

"We want people to share their first hand knowledge with the Government so that the strategy can not only identify barriers but also address them in a practical and effective way."

Mr O'Connor and Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Children's Services, Bill Shorten earlier this month released a discussion paper on the issue, and are now calling for submissions.

"Savings and Loans is Australia’s second largest credit union and South Australia’s oldest and a great example of a South Australian employer which has successfully employed people with a disability or mental illness," Mr O’Connor said.

"The strategy aims to encourage more employers to employ people with a disability or mental illness by addressing myths about increased risks and costs, and increasing awareness of the benefits."

Submissions close on June 30. Copies of the discussion paper and more information on the strategy is available at www.deewr.gov.au/employmentstrategy