Australian businesses will share in $20 million to increase the confidence and capacity of employers to recruit and retain people with disability through targeted initiatives including industry-specific training and paid internships.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Morrison Government’s investment was designed to match workers with businesses in growth industries and sectors experiencing labour shortages.
“We know that a majority of employers indicate a willingness to hire people with disability and this aims to actually turn these words into action,” Minister Ruston said.
“My message to any employer would be to consider hiring a person with disability. They are often the most loyal, hardest working and dedicated staff you will ever have.”
Organisations can apply to deliver evidence-based training or resources for businesses to improve their recruitment processes, address workplace culture and develop links throughout the corporate sector to demonstrate the benefits of hiring people with disability.
Funded activities can also include paid internships for people with disability with employers who have significant workforce demand and the delivery of industry-specific training for people with disability and peer networking programs.
Minister Ruston said businesses could play a powerful role in leading attitudinal change across the wider community.
“We would encourage organisations across Australia to grow their capacity to tap into the diverse talent that people with disability can bring to the workplace,” Minister Ruston said.
Simon McKeon AO said it made smart business sense for employers to increase their access to a highly capable but often overlooked workforce.
“With labour force shortages right now is the perfect opportunity for businesses to take their obligation seriously to grow the employment market and hire people with disability,” Mr McKeon said.
“It’s good for the employer, fabulous for the new employee and also excellent for the existing workforce.”
The grant initiatives will be evaluated against several performance indicators including the number of people with disability employed and the number of individuals who receive industry-specific skills training.
An open, competitive grant process opens today and will provide funding for projects until 2024.