Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Expanding Disability Employment Services

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield
    Assistant Minister for Social Services

  • The Hon. Kevin Andrews MP
    Minister for social services

The Abbott Government is expanding the number of non-government service providers delivering Disability Employment Services (DES).

Improving opportunities for employment participation for people with disability who can work is a key priority of the Abbott Government. The DES-Disability Management Service (DES-DMS) provides specialist employment services to job seekers with disability, injury or a relevant health condition.

Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews said the Government will tender the 47 per cent of the DES-DMS that is currently delivered by CRS Australia, an arm of the Department of Human Services.

“This will be the first time the entire DES-DMS market has been fully open to competition and is a significant opportunity for organisations to deliver employment services,” Mr Andrews said.

“The non-government sector has proven it can effectively deliver the services.”

“The new contracts will take effect from March 2015 and will be offered to March 2018.”

“All other DES-DMS contracts, which were due to expire on 30 June 2015, will also be extended to March 2018.”

“This provides certainty for providers and will create the opportunity to align DES within the broader disability services framework, including DES-Employment Support Services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” Mr Andrews said.

Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield said a recent evaluation shows that the DES-DMS is delivering better employment outcomes than its predecessor, the Vocational Rehabilitation Service.

“The evaluation showed a six percentage point increase in the number of people gaining employment for 26 weeks or more, which is being delivered at a lower cost than it was under the Vocational Rehabilitation Service,” Senator Fifield said.

“The Abbott Government understands that we need to help more people with disability who have a capacity to work to be able to participate in employment.

“We want to build on the strengths of DES and increase the quality and responsiveness of the support we give to people with disability and their employers,” Senator Fifield said.

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