Media Release by The Hon Jane Prentice MP

Australian Government committed to improving disability employment

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice today announced the new Disability Employment Services (DES) Reference Group, as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to reforming disability employment.

As leaders from the sector gathered at the Disability Employment Australia Leaders’ Forum in Sydney, Mrs Prentice emphasised the important role they play in shaping the future of DES.

“Australia ranks an embarrassing 21 out of 29 OECD countries when it comes to disability employment and we need to do better,” she said.

“The DES Reference Group provides the opportunity for experienced representatives from all relevant stakeholder groups to exchange views and discuss proposals for the new DES.”

Reference Group members include:

  • People With Disability
  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • First Peoples Disability Network
  • Inclusion Australia
  • Disability Employment Australia
  • National Disability Services
  • Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Jobs Australia
  • National Employment Services Australia
  • Australian Network on Disability
  • Jobsupport
  • Campbell Page
  • Advanced Personnel Management

“The Reference Group is only one of the ways we are engaging on the issue of disability employment—I, and representatives from my Department, will also be attending other disability employment forums to receive direct feedback on DES reforms,” Mrs Prentice said.

“We have launched a DES discussion paper outlining proposed changes, which is available on

“I encourage people to submit a response to the discussion paper before consultations close on 16 December 2016.”