A new pilot program will examine barriers and identify initiatives to improve employment prospects and workforce opportunities for Australians with a disability.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said five large employers and two small to medium enterprises would participate in the RecruitAble pilot to challenge misconceptions and develop a best practice approach for the recruitment of people with disability.
“Getting a job and having a job is an absolute game changer in everybody’s life and that shouldn’t be any different for somebody who has a disability,” Minister Ruston said.
“It’s critical we turn the dial on demonstrating the huge business benefits of employing somebody with a disability.
“The pilot will test and develop inclusive recruitment pathways and processes to maximise employment opportunities for people with disability.”
Randstad Australia, a national recruitment agency, and Get Skilled Skills Access, an organisation focused on building accessible workplace cultures, will deliver the initiative over 12 to 18 months.
The first phase of the pilot will place people with disability in allocated roles by participating employers, before the employers apply inclusive recruitment processes to their own businesses.
Co-Chair of the Disability Employment Advisory Committee and Founder of Get Skilled Access Dylan Alcott OAM said the pilot program is a great step towards people with disability feeling confident to access job opportunities through mainstream recruitment.
“We want it to be a game changer for many who find the current recruitment processes difficult to access and often not inclusive. And best of all, it’ll be created and led by people with lived experience of disability,” Mr Alcott said.
Randstad Australia State Director and National Diversity and Inclusion Lead Kerry McQuillan said their vision is to make an inclusive recruitment process that leads to meaningful employment.
“With Randstad's experience in making mainstream recruitment available to those who identify as having a disability, we hope to share best practice to ensure all candidates have equal opportunity to secure their job of choice,” Ms McQuillan said.
Stephanie Agnew, who will be working on the pilot, said she believed it would help challenge misconceptions and open many doors for people with disability.
“Being a person who is blind, finding and keeping a job can be challenging. The RecruitAble pilot is exciting for me as it will help people with disability find a role they can succeed in without the fear of rejection,” Ms Agnew said.
The initiative will be externally evaluated and its findings will help inform the development of the National Disability Employment Strategy. There are more than 2.1 million working age Australians with a disability.