Disability Services Minister Don Punch has today launched Disability Jobs Connect, an innovative online platform linking people with disability to employment pathways.
National Disability Services, the peak body representing disability service providers, has developed the online platform in partnership with local WA technology company Studium.
Studium has previously designed online platforms linking high school and university students, graduates and young people with work and education opportunities.
The development of Disability Jobs Connect was funded by the McGowan Government through a $400,000 Lotterywest grant.
A critical part of the development of Disability Jobs Connect was a series of co-design sessions with people with disability and Disability Employment Services (DES) providers.
This co-design input informed and shaped the platform and has ensured the final product meets the needs of people with disability, DES providers and progressive employers seeking to employ people with disability. The platform will also assist employers to tap into underutilised expertise and improve their workforce diversity.
Unlike ‘traditional’ employment platforms where employers advertise vacant positions based on job descriptions and job seekers use structured CVs and cover letters to apply, Disability Jobs Connect ‘inverts’ the process.
Job seekers create their own profiles to showcase their skills, values and interests in the way that best suits and describes them. DES providers can also upload the profiles of people with disability and support them through the job search process.
Employers using the platform create profiles and define ‘talent groups’ which outline the skills, values and types of talent they need.
Job seekers and employers can then search and ‘filter’ profiles and make requests to connect and explore employment opportunities.
As stated by Disability Services Minister Don Punch:
“The statistics on employment for people with disability are really confronting – with people with disability aged 15-64 twice as likely to be unemployed as those without disability.
“Concurrently, Western Australia currently has a serious workforce shortage and while many organisations are ready and willing to employ people with disability, they sometimes don’t know where to start.
“By simplifying the process of connecting employers with people with disability looking for work, the platform will increase employment opportunities for this previously underutilised talent pool to the benefit of employers and employees with disability alike.”