Release type: Media Release

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Minister OConnor congratulates Disability Services Australia

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, today congratulated employees from Disability Services Australia who graduated from a course that will help them support people with a disability enter the workforce.

The Minister today joined 82 staff members from Disability Services Australia who graduated with a Certificate III and IV in Disability Work at the Bankstown District Sports Club in Sydney.

“These employees are helping to break down the barriers that people with disability face in the labour market”, Mr O’Connor said.

“This training program will equip staff with the right skills to provide meaningful training and assistance to people with a disability who wish to find a job and economic independence.

“People with a disability or mental illness have an enormous amount to contribute and we need to tap into underutilised groups in our community to boost our nation’s capacity.” Mr O’Connor said the Rudd Government recognised the barriers people with a disability and mental illness faced and wanted to address the challenges.

“Today’s graduates play an important role in supporting and helping people with a disability or mental illness find and retain work,” he said.

The Certificate III and IV in Disability Work provides training to enhance the employees’ skills in planning, communication and information technology.

The joint program was delivered by two independent Registered Training Organisations, Directions Australia and TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute.

The graduate group consisted of support workers, team leaders and supervisors who support individuals with a disability in their private homes or in ‘Day Options’ programs.

Mr O’Connor said the Rudd Government had announced a Disability and Mental Health Employment Strategy earlier this year, to investigate ways to create direct links between employers and people with a disability or mental illness.

“The strategy will provide clear and practical steps that the Rudd Government can put in place to overcome barriers that make it harder for people with disability and mental illness to gain and keep work,” he said.