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NSW Leads Way with Disability Employment Initiatives

  • Published: 2010-12-20 - Contact: Department of aging, Disability and Home Care
  • Synopsis: Transition to Work is a program for young people with disability leaving school which focuses on employment or further education outcomes.

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The Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, today said disability employment would be key focus of the second five year phase of Stronger Together, the Government's 10-year initiative to expand and improve services in the disability sector.

The Keneally Government recently announced a record $2 billion in new growth funding for disability services to the second five year phase of Stronger Together, taking the total extra funding over 10 years to a record $5.5 billion.

Mr Primrose made the comments on the eve of the joint meeting of state and federal Community and Disability Services Ministers in Melbourne, which tomorrow will receive an evaluation report from aging, Disability and Home Care on the NSW Transition to Work program.

"Transition to Work is a two-year program for young people with a disability leaving school which focuses on employment or further education outcomes," Mr Primrose said.

"The evaluation report found that over 50 per cent of participants of Transition to Work have moved to employment or education since the program started in 2005.

"Prior to the introduction of Transition to Work only 6 per cent of school leavers who entered a day program or post school service eventually made their way to employment.

"A job can significantly improve a person's quality of life by providing independence, financial security, better self-esteem, friends and learning opportunities.

"The NSW Government's State Plan lists increasing employment of people with a disability as a key priority and we are committed - and on track - to deliver an extra 6,000 jobs for people with disabilities by 2016.

"While the evaluation report said that Transition to Work is delivering outcomes consistent with the aims and requirements of the program, it also identified areas that require further development.

"NSW has taken a strong lead in opening up employment opportunities for people with a disability, but there is still more to be done at both a state and federal level."

As well as the Transition to Work program, $10 million will be invested over the next five years in payroll tax exemptions for large businesses that employ people with a disability in NSW.

The Keneally Government also recently brought in an exemption to competitive tendering rules for employers of people with a disability.

National Disability Services (NDS) will now keep a procurement register on behalf of eligible companies that fulfill certain requirements.

This new register will enable Government agencies to procure goods and services from companies that hire people with a disability without having to go through a separate tender process.

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