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Employing People with Disability in Our Region

December 3 each year marks International Day of People with Disability, a United Nations sanctioned day aimed at increasing public awareness, understanding and acceptance of persons with disability and in celebrating the achievements and contributions of people with disability.

This year is the 21st Anniversary of International Day of People with Disability and the overarching theme in 2013 is: ‘Break barriers and open doors: to realise an inclusive society for all’.

In the lead up to International Day of People with Disability, key organisations from across the region held a round table meeting to discuss increasing participation of people with a disability in training and employment. The meeting was held at the Port Pirie Yacht Club and was attended by 14 organisations including disability service providers, not-for-profit organisations, State and Australian Government departments. The meeting was aimed at identifying barriers that impacted on people with a disability participating in training or gaining work. The group looked at gaps in service delivery, exploring ways to engage employers and industry and developing a collaborative approach across the region.

The 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers estimated that 4.2 million Australians or 18.5% of the populations has a disability. Disability can impact on a person’s ability to participate in the labour force with 53% of people aged between 15 and 64 years having lower participation and higher unemployment rates than people without a disability. On a local front, 85% of people who identified as having a disability in the Yorke and Mid-North State Government Region were not in the Labour Force. Of those people who reported having a disability 5% needed assistance with core activities and 91% did not need assistance. People with disability represent an untapped pool of talent for employers who are struggling with skills shortages and an ageing workforce.

Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North in partnership with the National Disability Coordination Officer Program and the State Government Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology are currently developing an action plan in response to feedback from the meeting with the aim of developing local initiatives to increase participation of people with a disability and the barriers faced in training and work.

Media Contact:

Mark Sheasby
Workforce Development Officer
Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Mobile: 0407 606 899
Phone: 1300 742 414

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