Kymberly Martin

Jobs push for NDIS “disappointing”

A job creation strategy for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been announced by the Federal Government which Social Services Minister, Paul Fletcher said will be one of the largest job creation opportunities in Australia’s history.

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It is intended to create thousands of new jobs and help businesses plan for the future with new data showing the projected areas of demand in the NDIS market as well as give jobseekers with disability, the chance to take advantage of new roles to deliver safe and quality services to people with disability.

However, the announcement was described as “disappointing” by National Disability Services (NDS) acting CEO, David Moody.

“Much of the strategy is a rehash of old news and the government appears to have pulled together information that is already in the public domain and dressed it up as new news,” Moody said. “My confidence in this document is not helped by the fact that it is dated (Department of Social Services) 2015.

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“It is very disappointing that much of the content of their Growing the NDIS Market and Workforce consists of past announcements and what is currently being done. When we look through the document we’ve found only a very small number of actions that that will grow the NDIS market and workforce.”

Moody did welcome the commitment to providing better information to enable investment in services, as better data would help service providers make decisions about investment and growth.

“Our members have been suffering from a severe lack of data for years and this is impeding their ability to invest and grow.The NDS has been asking for this data for years.

“We are also pleased to see that commissioned work to conclude in May 2019, to assist in thin service markets, because we know many providers are pulling out of some areas, which will in turn threaten the delivery of supports to people with disability in those areas.”

A key element of the new Growing the NDIS Market and Workforce strategy is the launch of the new Boosting the Local Care Workforce website which shows projected demand for disability services at the micro level under the NDIS. “These tools will be integral in assisting providers and businesses plan for the future and grow their business by giving them forecasts of projected demand for services and the future workforce by postcode,” the minister said. The new website will also allow organisations to self-assess their existing systems, processes and overall readiness to become a NDIS provider or sustain or expand their service offering.

Up to 90,000 more full-time equivalent workers will be needed to meet demand over the next five years.

NDIS provider and organisations can apply for up to $20,000 of tailored business support under the $5.6 million Transition Assistance Funding program. Applications for funding close April 26 2019. For more information visit: blcw.dss.gov.au/readiness

For more details on the workforce strategy visit: blcw.dss.gov.au or www.dss.gov.au.