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Action to deliver better employment support services for Australians with a disability

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Minister for Employment Participation

Kate Ellis

Action to deliver better employment support services for Australians with a disability

Tuesday 30 October 2012 Media Release

Australians with a disability will now have access to a higher standard of employment support services in more locations across Australia, following the Australian Government’s tender for Disability Employment Services.

Minister for Employment Participation, Kate Ellis said the Government is expanding the number of high performing quality service providers as well as expanding the locations of services across Australia following the completion of the first full competitive tender for Disability Employment Services - Employment Support Service.

“The Gillard Government is committed to making big reform in the disabilities sector because we want to improve the care, services and support that is provided for Australians with a disability,” Minister Ellis said.

“As well as introducing Australia’s first National Disability Insurance Scheme we’re also making reforms to deliver better employment support services for Australians with a disability.

“It took a Labor Government to take on the ambitious reform - this is the first time these services have ever gone out to full tender to get the best result for people with a disability and the single biggest reform to the disabilities employment sector in decades.

“Our Government’s historic decision to uncap Disability Employment Services has meant that more people with disability than ever before are receiving assistance to help them to find and keep a job.

“Since we came into office, we have increased our investment into helping people with a disability find work to a record $3.2 billion over the next four years.

“We want to make sure our disability services offer the best possible results for people with a disability and that providers are getting Australians good jobs, and helping them keep them.”

The new Australian Government tender for Disability Employment Services - Employment Support Service includes:

• Expanded services to more locations than ever before, with the number of sites increasing by almost 50% from 1,145 to 1,654. • Expanded services delivered by providers who have achieved top rating

of four and five-star to 26 providers. • Greater choice, better services and options for job seekers with disability, in more locations than ever before.

“The Australian Government believes that all Australians have a right to the dignity and self-respect that employment brings and these reforms will mean the highest performing quality organisations will now deliver services to vulnerable participants across Australia,” Minister Ellis said.

“There is growing evidence that having a job not only provides financial independence and a better standard of living, but also improved physical and mental health.

“Australians with a disability have the potential to contribute more than $50 billion to our economy by 2050 if we continue to improve their participation in the workforce.

“Every Australian deserves the dignity, financial security and opportunities that come with having a job, and we want Australians with disability to know that when they call on help to get a job they are going to be given the best quality support.”

Since introducing the Disability Employment Services program on 1 March 2010, the Australian Government has worked with industry to help place almost 136,000 participants with a disability into employment.

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