Skills and Inclusion Program
What is the Skills and Inclusion Program?
The Skills and Inclusion Program has come about by a grant from Information Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) as part of the Department of Social Services.
The Program is tasked with building employer confidence in hiring people with disability (PWD). The Program will run until early 2025.
The Program works by collating resources and employer experiences, developing and delivering co-designed events and forging on-going, impactful and robust conversations.
The objectives are to build connections and trusted pathways between employers and job-ready employees who have disability. PWD are ordinary people who can be extraordinary employees. The events and employer experiences will further the conversation about disability in the workplace and normalise the inclusion of PWD in mainstream employment.
How can your business get involved?
If you are solo or micro and would like to show your support for diversity and inclusion in the workforce and in every aspect of life and our community contact us and we can help you with a DIAP (Disability and Inclusion Action Plan).
The business case for hiring people with disability is strong. There are real cost savings through reduced staff turnover and lower recruitment and retraining costs. What’s more, because people with disability have fewer compensation incidents and accidents at work, compared to other employees, insurance cover and workers’ compensation costs are often lower.
- People with disability generally take fewer days off, take less sick leave and stay in jobs longer than other workers. Job retentions rates for people with disability are as high as 85% at five years.
- Employment costs for people with disability can be as low as 13% of the employment costs for other employees.
- Workers’ compensation costs for people with disability are as low as four per cent of the workers’ compensation costs for other employees.
- Once in the right job, people with disability perform as well as other employees.
- People with disabilities can bring incredible problem-solving skills and tenacity to their tasks and workplaces. They can be problem solving daily, from the moment they wake up and these insights can lead to greater inclusivity and innovation. 18% of Australians live with a disability – these insights and innovations are valuable.
- People with disability build strong connections with customers, boost staff morale and enhance a sense of teamwork and work culture. Don’t just take our word for it; check out our videos of employers talking about their positive and challenging experiences.
- Hiring people with disability enhances an organisation’s image in the general community – people with disability and their networks are customers and consumers too! Like every other consumer group, they purchase services and products from businesses that best meet their needs.
Answering the hard questions
The best way to get the right person for the right role is to be very clear about the role or tasks that have to be done. The more clarity around the role and the requirements of the role will ensure a better fit with an employee who can fully fit those requirements.
The aim of job customisation or job carving is to discover or analyse what the job or role entails and matching an employee’s experience and capabilities to that job or role. This ensures mutual beneficial employment between employer and employee.
The person with disability may not be able to fulfill 100% of a ‘standard’ or ‘regular’ role. However, by using job carving or role customisation businesses will ensure that ALL employees are engaged, invested and in tasks and roles where their skills and interest align with their roles.
Honesty and an open line of direct communication will (always) help.
Great! The clearer the core requirements, expectations and skill levels necessary to perform the role are, the better. The next steps are finding an employee who’s skills and interests align with the role.
Feel free to contact us using the form at the bottom of this page to discuss further.
Depending on how the person was employed there is lots of support. If you have employed a person with disability and they do not have access to structured supports please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.
There are organisations that can jump in and help support the employee which in turn supports the employer. Don’t suffer in silence; no-one gains from this.
Support for employees continues well into their employment to ensure their success in the role and in the wider workplace.
All employees have personalised employment coaches (at no cost to the business). These coaches ensure and constant feedback loop to support both the employee and employer. As the employee’s gain more confidence and need less support the coach role becomes redundant however they are always on hand to support, whatever the time or situation. Contact us for more information.
In a word, no.
Depending on the agencies hiring and the hiring business the incentives can look different. These subsidies are mostly paid at 13 weeks and 26 weeks.
In a word, yes.
Employees with disability are people too. There may be some reasonable physical adjustments or wider staff awareness training needed to ensure the workplace is ready. Disability Employment Services, and other organisations provide disability awareness for free to your business, line managers and prospective colleagues. Generally, managing an employee with disability is the same as managing any employee.
Effective communication is key to managing people. Disability, or any challenging conversations, can be emotionally charged or uncomfortable, especially if having these conversations will be a new experience on both sides.
Discussing sensitive topics can be daunting and overwhelming regardless of the employee in question.
Depending on how the employee was employed (through a Disability Employment Service or a Training Organisation) there is a wealth of support and guidance. Each employee, usually, has a support team that includes a dedicated employer liaison person. This liaison role is there to support both the employer and the employee in acknowledging challenges and moving forward to conversations and solutions.
The employee with disability is employed by the business or organisation, regardless of how they were recruited for the job or role. From every aspect they are employed by the employer and not the Disability Employment Service or Training Organisation. The DES and TO are on hand with support however for financial, legal, WH&S and all other employment considerations the employee with disability is employed directly by the employer.
Like any employee or new hire there is a chance that it doesn’t work out. That is ok. Like all other employees it is the manner and how the feedback and continuing conversation it managed and delivered along the way that makes the situation uncomfortable or not.
Engage with the supports that the employee has or with the employee directly and be open to possible solutions. People with disability problem solve and navigate new routes every day; there may be a solution hiding in plain sight!
Whether an employee with disability is afforded the same leadership and development opportunities as other employees depends on the individual’s manager, supportive scaffolding and in-house processes.
One of the more powerful lenses and self-challenging actions to take is to challenge your own bias. Don’t make assumptions.
Employees with disability should be afforded the same career questioning and reflections as any employee eg:
- What do you want to achieve in the next 5 years?
- What skills can I help you master or gain experience in to help get you there?
- What interests you and are there any obstacles in your way that we can make reasonable adjustments for?
- Check out some resources here.
In two words, not really. They are intertwined. Diversity usually are paired together however they are not the same.
“Diversity and inclusion are two interconnected concepts – but they are far from interchangeable. Diversity is about representation or the make-up of an entity. Inclusion is about how well the contributions, presence, and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment.” – Matt bush, Culture Coaching Lead at Great Place to Work (https://www.greatplacetowork.com/)
“A diverse team of decision-makers can prevent bad decisions from being made – ones that may alienate customers, harm the brand or impede growth”
- JobAccess can help anyone who’s interested in disability in the workplace. JobAccess was created by the Australian Government to bring together the information and resources that can drive disability employment.
- The ACT Office for Disability provides strategic advice to government and community to create an inclusive Canberra so that people with disability are able to fully enjoy their rights as citizens of the ACT.
- Karen and her Team at The Easy Read Toolbox provide a one stop shop to learn and find all the tools necessary to write Easy Read. When over 50% of the Australian population reads at a primary school level or below, why are you still baffling your clients with jargon, complex text and unnecessary novels?
Easy Read was originally for disabled people, but is suitable for everyone you communicate with. It shows great respect to communicate in a way they feel comfortable and confident with, as well as more effectively sharing your content.
- A strategic blueprint for making your organisation more inclusive of people with disability. GetAboutAble has created a suite of free resources to support small and medium businesses to develop an effective Disability Action & Inclusion Plan (DAIP).
Click the links to access information on How to Start a Disability and Inclusion Action Plan.