The McGowan Government has boosted funding for disability sector workforce training to build capability to support and promote the inclusion of people with disability in the public sector.
The Building the Talent Pool program, delivered by National Disability Services WA (NDS), will also help Western Australia deliver on its disability employment target of five per cent for the public sector by 2025.
NDS has received an additional $185,000 to extend and provide employers with information and tools they require to employ people with disability.
The project was originally funded for $187,000 under the 2018-19 Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) round but due to its success has been extended for a further year with an additional $185,000.
The program will help build the capability of WA’s public sector, including in regional areas, to increase meaningful workplace participation for people with disability by applying recruiter approaches and strategies consistent with the People with Disability WA (PWdWA) Connect with Me co-design project.
The project will run until June 2021 and seeks to establish policies and processes and build knowledge and skills within the public sector to create sustainable changes and changed culture. It is also designed to improve employment pathways and participation for people with disability in the public sector.
There are currently nine agencies committed to the project, with others involved in discussions to take part. The nine confirmed agencies are:
- Western Power
- Public Sector Commission
- Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
- Department of Communities
- Insurance Commission of WA
- WA Electoral Commission
- Department of Water, Environment and Regulation
- Department of Fire and Emergency Services
- Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
In December 2019, the State Government released an action plan to make the Western Australian public sector a leader in the employment of people with disability, with a target of 5 per cent by the end of 2025.
The plan was developed by the Public Sector Commission in conjunction with the Department of Communities and stakeholders – including people with disability – as part of a wider workforce diversification and inclusion strategy, with actions for all public sector agencies.
As stated by Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
“The McGowan Government’s number one priority remains the creation of jobs for all Western Australians, an issue that has become even more critical in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The five per cent target is a great initiative that demonstrates how serious we are about increasing the number of people with disability in the workforce.
“As the State’s largest employer, the State Government is committed to leading by example.
“Ensuring employers are well-equipped to recruit from the entire talent pool is good for employees, good for people with disability and helps with the creation of a diverse workforce.”