Pilot pro­gram aims to boost not-for-profit em­ploy­ment

DIS­ABIL­ITY DIS­CUS­SIONS

Kalgoorlie Miner - - OPINION - Robert Hicks John Bowler is the Mayor of the City of Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der. Robert Hicks is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Gold­fields In­di­vid­ual and Fam­ily Sup­port As­so­ci­a­tion.

The WA Minister for Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices launched a pilot pro­gram this week to in­crease em­ploy­ment of peo­ple with dis­abil­ity.

GIFSA is one of 10 par­tic­i­pat­ing ser­vice providers tak­ing part in the pilot, which is aimed at lift­ing em­ploy­ment of peo­ple with dis­abil­ity in the not-for-profit sec­tor.

The State Min­is­te­rial Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on Dis­abil­ity is lead­ing the pro­gram with the full en­dorse­ment of the Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices Minister Stephen Daw­son. It will com­ple­ment the re­cently an­nounced State Dis­abil­ity Plan, which is in the con­sul­ta­tion phase.

The pro­gram will see a range of providers, in­clud­ing GIFSA, com­mit­ting to an in­crease in mean­ing­ful and sus­tain­able em­ploy­ment for peo­ple with dis­abil­ity in the sec­tor.

All par­tic­i­pat­ing dis­abil­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions will be ac­count­able for in­creas­ing em­ploy­ment within their own or­gan­i­sa­tions. It is ex­pected the pro­ject plan will be fi­nalised in Fe­bru­ary, 2019 with each or­gan­i­sa­tion com­mit­ting their own funds and time.

As the minister has pointed out, “Em­ploy­ment pro­vides a sense of pur­pose and a sense of in­de­pen­dence, as well as con­tribut­ing to our self-es­teem”.

What is im­por­tant about this unique pilot pro­gram is that it shows a strong com­mit­ment by not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions to the em­ploy­ment of peo­ple with dis­abil­ity. The fact is that in WA, only 56 per cent of peo­ple with dis­abil­ity are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the work­force, in con­trast to 85 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion with­out dis­abil­ity. It is an­tic­i­pated the State Dis­abil­ity Plan, when fully de­vel­oped and im­ple­mented, will set the di­rec­tion for the next decade and we know em­ploy­ment is a key el­e­ment now and in the fu­ture.

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