The Federal Government wants people with disability and the sector generally to speak up on a future supported employment policy. This follows the release of a discussion paper that is intended to encourage discussion around three core areas. These include strategies to support employment participation for people with disability, provide employment opportunities by employers and providers and strengthen the role of the NDIS to enable employees to reach their employment goals.

The government has committed $220 million in annual funding for supported employees accessing employment supports and $180 million in additional funding for Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) to adjust to new wage arrangements for supported employees and transition to the NDIS.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Jane Prentice, said it was critical to hear from those working in and running ADEs as well as employees’ families and carers and the disability sector. “We want to ensure more people with disability achieve their employment goals.”

The government has extended disability employment assistance for eligible ADEs for up to two years to support ongoing service provision to ensure ADE businesses can thrive with the NDIS, the minister said. There are currently 20,000 workers in supported employment.

The consultation process includes workshops and interviews with stakeholders.  Contributions to the discussion paper must be received by March 9, 2018.

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