Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

$1.9 million boost for training in Australian Disability Enterprises

Joint Media Release with:

  • Ed Husic MP, Member for Chifley

Workers with disability and support staff in Australian Disability Enterprises will benefit from a new $1.9 million investment by the Gillard Government.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas today announced $10,000 for each of the country’s 197 Australian Disability Enterprises to improve the training qualifications of their workers with disability and support staff.

Visiting Endeavour Foundation Industries in Mount Druitt with Member for Chifley, Ed Husic today, Senator McLucas said the funding would improve both employment support and outcomes for people with disability.

“Australian Disability Enterprises employ more than 20,000 workers with disability across the country who without specialised support might not be able to find and keep a job,” Senator McLucas said.

“The funding will provide training opportunities for employees with disability to help them build career paths and achieve their full potential.”

“Ongoing development and training for support staff will also help to ensure that employees with disability receive support in employment that meets their needs.

Mr Husic welcomed the $10,000 boost for Endeavour Foundation Industries in Mount Druitt, also known as Filpac, which operate a local packaging business.

“I’ve visited Endeavour many times and have seen with my own eyes what a great example they are of an inclusive supported employer. They play an important role in our community, providing work opportunities, training and personal development to around 240 local people with disability,” Mr Husic said.

“Today’s announcement means Australian Disability Enterprises, just like Filpac here in Mount Druitt, can provide quality professional development opportunities for their staff which is an important part in building an effective and inclusive workplace.”

Australian Disability Enterprises provide jobs in industries such as catering, gardening, building and packaging and make an important contribution to local communities and to the broader economy.

“The Gillard Government values the role of Australian Disability Enterprises in supporting workforce participation for Australians with disability and helping them take part in economic life,” Senator McLucas said.

“We released a 10 year vision for the future of supported employment, which will be a framework to help Australian Disability Enterprises remain strong and sustainable through the transition to a National Disability Insurance Scheme.”

The Gillard Government announced a $59.6 million injection over four years into Australian Disability Enterprises in the recent budget, bringing total investment to more than $210 million each year.

Previously Australian Disability Enterprises have received top-up funding on an ad-hoc, short-term basis. This ongoing investment will also give peace of mind to people with a disability who work in these businesses, their families and carers.

The ongoing funding commitment follows the Government’s recent funding injection to help Australian Disability Enterprises prepare for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will reform the way we deliver disability care and support across Australia.