Young Western Australians with disability will be the focus of a new work experience placement and traineeship program at Water Corporation, as part of its ongoing commitment to improve disability access and inclusion.
Announced today, on International Day of People with Disability, by Water Minister Dave Kelly, the State-wide program will offer 10 work experience placements and five school-based traineeships at Water Corporation on a rolling basis to students and school leavers with disability.
The initiative, due to commence in March 2021, is an action under Water Corporation’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) and supports its commitment to increase employment of people with disability to five per cent by 2025.
People with disability are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as people without disability, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, so the placements will emphasise employability skills, including working under direction as part of a team and communication. Participants will also have access to apply for any Water Corporation roles advertised during their placement.
The program is one of a range of DAIP-related initiatives Water Corporation has implemented this year.
In September, it partnered with National Disability Services WA on its ‘Building the Talent Pool’ program, to enhance its policies and processes and improve employment pathways and participation for people with disability.
It also extended its engagement with Disability Employment Service providers to build a talent pool, and recently prioritised selection for some contact centre positions with the long-term aim of having all roles available to people with disability.
Recent modifications to its recruitment practices include the encouragement of support workers to attend interviews, and all recruiters and selected managers will undergo disability confidence training over the next 12 months.
Practical changes include accessibility upgrades at several Water Corporation sites, including creating a private consultation room at its Balcatta office for wheelchair-bound customers unable to transact online.
For more information on Water Corporation’s disability initiatives, view its DAIP online at https://www.watercorporation.com.au/daip or alternative formats are available on request.
As stated by Water Minister Dave Kelly:
“Research from Disabled People’s Organisations Australia shows many young people with disability don’t enter the labour market in the seven years following their education, and they’re more likely to experience long-term unemployment.
“This sobering statistic highlights the vital importance of boosting the employability of school leavers with disability and prioritising the advertising and selection of roles to help redress the disadvantages they can encounter.
“Water Corporation’s forthcoming work experience and traineeship program will provide valuable insights in a supportive environment, helping these young people enter the job market.”
As stated by Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
“People with disability, like all Western Australians, have the right to expect that our community provides equal or equitable opportunities across life, from access to public places, our environment, events, education and employment.
“On International Day of People with Disability, I commend Water Corporation for its ongoing commitment to equal employment opportunities for people with disability, and for striving to be an inclusive and accessible employer of choice.”
Water Minister’s office – 6552 6100