With Australia 'at crisis point,' disabled workers offer skills 'to meet staff shortages'
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has further strengthened its call for businesses to “think outside the box” when hiring new employees. It recently encouraged employers to choose those who are “capable of doing the job” and not just prefer the ones “they’ve always hired.”
In achieving a “modern and diverse” workforce, the ACCI said that supporting people with disability is “fundamental.” On 01 February, it released a new disability employment support model that outlined its proposal to help both employers and disabled workers in the workplace.
In the said proposal, the ACCI highlighted several key recommendations, including reintegrating the service for people with disability into the core employment system “to create a more effective single contact service for employers.”
The ACCI is also set to improve the recruitment and retention of disabled workers, such as targeted guidance about capacity for work, access to support, and certain legal obligations.
ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said there are “many benefits” in hiring disabled workers. “A rewarding career benefits the individual while employers can access a wider pool of talent and skills to meet staff shortages, supporting business, and further growing the economy,” McKellar said.
McKellar said that while greater workforce participation for people with disability “should always be a key aim,” addressing the skills and labour shortage is also critical. He said that “there has never been a better time” to create additional employment opportunities, describing Australia as “at crisis point.”
“Reforms to achieve that ambition should be bold and aim for a significant increase in participation rates, not just seeking to make a marginal improvement,” McKellar added.
A report published by the ACCI said the workforce participation rate for people with disability is 53.4% compared to 84.1% of people without disability in the labour force.