Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Government launches new Disability Employment Services

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator The Hon Mark Arbib, Minister for Employment Participation and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery

Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib today launched the Rudd Government’s new $1.2 billion Disability Employment Services.

Senator Arbib, who launched the service at Break Thru Employment at Maroubra, said the new arrangements meant more jobs for people with disability, improved choice for job seekers and employers and more innovative service delivery.

“For the first time, people with disability will have direct access to the help they need to find and keep a job. There will be no waiting lists because the Government has uncapped services,” Senator Arbib said.

“Under the Rudd Government people with disability will have access to better and more individually tailored employment services.

“In addition, employers will also benefit from accessing a Disability Employment Service. Employers will be able to tap into the wide range of skills and experience people with disability bring into the workforce.”

The new Disability Employment Services will operate under two new programs:

  • Disability Management Service – assistance for those job seekers who are not expected to need regular, long-term support to maintain their job; and
  • Employment Support Service – assistance for job seekers who will need regular long-term support to maintain their job.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten said that people with disability had told the Rudd Government they wanted to work.

“People with disability are still under-represented in the workforce. We need to ensure that we remove the barriers facing people with disability who want to work, and recognise their potential rather than their impairments,” Mr Shorten said.

“These changes are a far cry from the punitive approach of the Howard Government. We will give people with disability the help they need to get work.

“As our population ages, it will become even more important that the talents of all Australians are included in the workforce.”

The Rudd Government has also launched a $6.8 million Disability Support Pension (DSP) Employment Incentive Pilot which will trial a new way of encouraging employers to offer employment to people with disability and allow DSP recipients to demonstrate their skills.

The pilot will operate in the following 15 Labour Force Regions with the most Disability Support Pension recipients and will run until February 2012:

  • Richmond-Tweed and Clarence Valley
  • Newcastle
  • Outer Western Melbourne
  • Northern, North Western and Central West
  • North Western Sydney
  • Northern Adelaide
  • Wide-Bay Burnett
  • North Eastern Melbourne
  • South Eastern Melbourne
  • Brisbane City Outer Ring
  • Barwon-Western District
  • Fairfield-Liverpool
  • Gold Coast South
  • Southern Adelaide
  • Gosford-Wyong

Employers would be supported through wage subsidies of up to $3000 after the job seeker has remained in work for 26 weeks.

Senator Arbib said the pilot would be focussed in areas of disadvantage across Australia, and could be expanded in the future if it proved successful.

In addition to the new Disability Employment Services, Senator Arbib also announced a Disability Employment Services Reference Group would be established to provide strategic advice on the future of Disability Employment Services.

“I would like to thank all of those who contributed to the review of disability employment services, and contributed to the design and implementation of the new Disability Employment Services being launched today,” Senator Arbib said.

The Australian Government is committed to supporting people with disability into employment. The new Disability Employment Services will help the Government to meet this commitment.

More information on the Disability Employment Services on the DEEWR Website.