Media Releases

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS FOR DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT

March 12, 2018

Much more needs to be done to break down barriers for people with disabilities to gain meaningful employment according to Federal Labor’s Australian Jobs Taskforce.

Shadow Minister for Disability and Carers Senator Carol Brown joined with Taskforce Members in North West Tasmania to meet with Disability Employment Providers and other stakeholders.

Senator Brown said, “Only 53% of Australians with disability are employed compared with 83% of other working age Australians.  Australia rates 21st out of 29 OECD nations when it comes to employment rates for people with disabilities.

“Nationally Tasmania has the lowest rate of disability employment at 45.8%.

“Disability discrimination in the workplace has improved over the past two decades but remains unacceptably high at 35% of all types of workplace complaints.

“Lower employment rates translate to a lower living standard for people with disabilities when they are already living in challenging circumstances.

“Labor is also concerned these challenges may be greater in regional areas like North West Tasmania which is why we are on the North West Coast today.

“A holistic approach is needed to ensure all our communities are inclusive and accessible.

Australian Jobs Taskforce Chair Susan Lamb said, “The Taskforce is consulting with business, employees, unions and other stakeholders to develop Federal Labor policy when it comes to establishing decent and secure jobs.

“Today the Taskforce is investigating disability employment issues with a lens on regional communities and meeting with Australian Disability Enterprises like Vincent Industries in Wynyard.

"Federal Labor wants to hear what the barriers are to enable people with disabilities achieve decent and secure employment.

Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay said, “It was apparent more work needed to be done to support the transition from supported employment at places to open employment.

“We have heard concerns that the NDIS does not fully encourage clients to employment.

“There are a number of anecdotal reports where a disconnect exists between carers and employment providers”.

 

FRIDAY 9 MARCH 2018

MEDIA CONTACT:  JOHN DOWLING – 0417 575 148