Finding a steady job in Australia can often be tough even in the best of circumstances. Landing and holding down a job when you have a disability is even more of a challenge. While there are initiatives in place to help the disabled find work, the challenges remain.
Many employers and disabled people are simply unaware of some of the help that is out there to bring the two together in a productive relationship, which means so many Australians face these challenges alone.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some challenges facing people with disabilities, as well as some good options for assistance in finding gainful employment.
The Challenges Are Real
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), around half of the people with disabilities who want to participate in the workforce are unemployed. Australia also ranks rather poorly compared to other countries when it comes to helping the disabled get jobs.
As mentioned in the introduction, one of the major problems is that so many employers and people with disabilities are totally unaware of certain government programs designed to help bridge this gap. If more potential employers and employees were armed with the knowledge of disability employment support, employers would soon realise the value disabled people can offer their business, and people with disabilities could enhance and enrich their lives by feeling productively-employed and making a contribution.
Discrimination is another issue so many disabled people face when trying to land a job. An employer’s first reaction is usually that the individual won’t be able to perform the tasks as well as an able-bodied person could. In some instances, this is true, depending on the job role, but it’s not always the case. Discrimination can even come from the other employees, making it hard for the disabled worker to feel confident and comfortable at work.
Some employers may also fear they are ill-equipped to meet the specific needs of a disabled employee or fear issues with complying with reporting and monitoring requirements.
When it comes to job selection and availability, anyone who is challenged physically will naturally have fewer options available to them. Options are limited for everyone naturally anyway, as not every individual is qualified or has the experience to apply for every available position, but add a disability into the equation and the job pool diminishes rather dramatically.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as we’ll discover in the next section.
Disability Employment Services Australia
Disability employment services exist to try and alleviate some of the challenges disabled people face when it comes to successfully entering the workforce. This includes disability job support and government services designed to create incentives for employers and options for disabled job seekers.
For starters, you can take advantage of NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme). Whether you’re the person with the disability, or a family member or carer, this scheme is designed to assist everyone involved in the care of someone with a disability. NDIS also opens up doors so you can find a job.
DES (Disability Employment Services) is another government-operated scheme that can provide some important assistance when it comes to entering the workforce. This scheme is solely focused on finding jobs for the disabled and providing incentives for employers.
To be eligible for assistance under the DES scheme, people with a disability first need to undergo an assessment to determine the level of support they’ll need, as well as their capacity to work and how many hours they’d be capable of working.
DES can provide employers with a wage subsidy, enticing them to take a chance on hiring an employee with disability challenges. There is also another facet to the scheme that enables employers to pay people with a disability on a productivity basis, rather than paying for the number of hours worked. Both are designed to attract employment opportunities for the disabled.
One of the best ways for people with disabilities to learn and understand what support options are open to them when it comes to job hunting is to team up with a Jobactive provider.
Jobactive providers offer employment assistance and support for all unemployed people and they have special programs tailor-made for disabled job seekers.
There are opportunities out there. Employers and job seekers with disabilities just need to be aware of them.