People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the 2015 Budget commitments to a modest but promising package of initiatives to address employment participation of people with disability.
“For some time, PWDA has called for a comprehensive jobs plan, and tonight we see the beginnings of this plan”, said Mr Craig Wallace, PWDA President. “The JobAccess Gateway
could be a promising beginning for a new system which is more responsive and accountable to people with disability and employers”.
“We especially welcome the provision of funding to allow people employed in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) or workshops, to access support from a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider for up to two years to assist with securing employment in the open labour market. Currently people can only access DES support by leaving an ADE. This new measure will remove a deterrent facing people with disability seeking open employment as an alternative to an ADE.
“We also welcome measures that allow young people with disability to receive employment assistance from DES providers while still participating in State and Territory post school employment programs.
“PWDA offers cautious support for the new higher outcome measures for DES providers who will now be funded on the basis of providing at least 23 hours of work to people who have been assessed as having this work capacity. We do however, think it will be important that DES providers are appropriately resourced to be able to provide job opportunities in a tightening employment market.
“PWDA welcomes the Abbott Government’s ongoing commitment to the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), including its extension to outer Western Sydney region as well as improvements to the ICT in the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
“We welcome the focus on assistance for students with disability outlined in the press release from Minister Pyne. We will be reviewing the detail of these measures in coming days.
We support the decision to continue with the current indexation arrangements for the Disability Support Pension (DSP), and we hope the Government will continue the focus on positive employment initiatives rather than punitive welfare measures.”