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Boost local employment


In many communities, local governments are some of the largest, if not the largest, local employers and this provides opportunities to recruit and train people with disability. Many local governments have started to proactively recruit people with disability and develop accessible recruitment practices, create suitable workplaces and build organisational cultures which support all types of people.

Some local governments also assist local businesses to train and employ people with disability in order to further increase local social and economic participation. In addition, a few local governments are developing plans to create local employment in the disability sector to support the implementation of the NDIS.

This section provides information about how local governments recruit and retain people with disability and how they support other organisations to do this.

Employ people with disability

The national survey showed that most local governments see that they have a clear role to employ people with disability but less than a third actually do. Many local governments feel there are significant barriers to employing people with disability such as:

  • Low vacancy rates.
  • Competing pressures to employ other disadvantaged groups.
  • Unconscious bias in recruitment processes.
  • Risk aversion around occupational health and safety (especially in outdoor work).
  • Perception that employing people with disability is too difficult.
  • Lack of knowledge about how to modify workplaces (both indoor and outdoor).

Support local businesses to employ people with disability

Local businesses are often unsure of how to modify their workplaces for people with disability and are also unaware of available support to make their workplaces more accessible. For example, businesses with more than 100 employees can access the National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) program funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. NDCO Officers help people with disability access training and subsequent employment at no cost to the employer.

In addition, there are opportunities for more local governments to directly support local businesses and community organisations to employ people with disability to increase their economic participation in the local community.

Support employment in the disability sector

The implementation of the NDIS may potentially contribute to local or regional economic development through either the creation of employment opportunities in the disability sector or the increase of people with disability, their families and carers accessing local businesses.

Although most local governments do not intend to register as NDIS service providers, they can support the establishment of local disability services.

Those councils who deliver more inclusive, accessible communities also activate local and regional economic opportunities outside of the disability sector, such as through tourism.

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Checklist of actions to boost local employment