Media Release by The Hon Jane Prentice MP

Investing in Australia’s disability workforce

Disability organisations across Australia will share nearly $2.9 million to develop new ways of boosting the disability workforce, as the National Disability Insurance Scheme is rolled out.

The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Disability Services today announced that 21 projects would receive grants of up to $200,000 under the first round of the Innovative Workforce Fund.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting the disability sector and its workforce, as we move towards a more competitive market of the NDIS,” Mrs Prentice said. 

“The variety of projects funded under this round are a real testament to the innovation and ingenuity of Australia’s disability sector.

“They include exploring virtual reality to give disability support workers training to deal with complex challenges and encouraging Indigenous Australians to consider a career in disability support.”

“Applications for the second round of funding are being considered with the successful projects to be announced in the near future.

“With another $1.1 million in grants for round 2, we will seek to complement round 1 projects and fill any potential gaps.”

National Disability Services Chief Executive Ken Baker said support for new ways of engaging and deploying workers is extremely important.

“The NDIS demands that we not only scale up the workforce but create more personalised and productive workforce arrangements,” Dr Baker said.

A total of 168 applications were submitted under round 1 of the Innovative Workforce Fund.

“To ensure a fair process, we established an independent advisory group, including academics, disability support providers, peak bodies for people with disability, carers and the mental health sector, and the National Disability Insurance Agency,” Dr Baker said.

“The applications we received in the first round of the Innovative Workforce Fund contained an impressive variety of workforce solutions to current and future challenges. “

To learn more about the NDIS go to or call 1800 800 110.