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Wage Connect finds jobs for more than 5000 people with disability



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Ministers' Media Centre Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

Wage Connect finds jobs for more than 5000 people with disability

On 5 August 2013 the government assumed a Caretaker role, with an election to be held 7 September 2013.

Media releases, transcripts and speeches for the DEEWR Ministers and Parliamentary Secretary can be accessed via the ALP website until after the election and the conclusion of the caretaker period.

Thursday 9 August 2012 Media Release

The Hon Kate Ellis MP [link:/ellis]

• Minister for Employment Participation • Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care

More than 5,000 Australians with disability who had been unemployed for at least two years have found jobs, thanks to the Australian Government’s $94 million Wage Connect initiative.

Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis said Wage Connect, part of the Building Australia’s Future Workforce package, kicked off in January and supports businesses to employ disadvantaged job seekers.

“Since it began, Wage Connect has helped over 9,000 people into paying jobs, with over 5,000 of these being people in receipt of a Disability Support Pension or identifying themselves as having a disability,” Ms Ellis said.

“I’m pleased to see that so many Australians with disability are being supported into work - some for the first time in their lives - because of this Government initiative.

“Without access to paid employment, many people with disability risk life on the margins of our community.

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“Wage Connect provides very long term unemployed job seekers with disability the opportunity to gain financial independence and also the dignity and self respect that paid employment brings.”

In 2009, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that the workforce participation rate of people with disability was 54 per cent, compared to 83 per cent for people with no reported disability.

“These wage subsidies are improving our country’s productivity through greater workforce participation, but also transforming the lives of unemployed Australians and their families,” Ms Ellis said.

“I am proud to be part of a Government that has an ambitious agenda to improve the care, services and support that is provided for people with disability, and am pleased that the program is exceeding its targets and is on track to assist more than 10,000 this current financial year.”

Through Wage Connect, eligible businesses are provided with a subsidy (around $5,900 over 26 weeks) to employ people who have been receiving income support for two years and have had no or minimal work experience in that time.

Minister Ellis congratulated the businesses and job seekers who had participated in the initiative.

“The program helps businesses to take on a new worker who may require some additional training, but will become a valued member of their teams. The six month period of support also gives job seekers the opportunity to get the skills and confidence they needed to rejoin

the workforce,” Ms Ellis said.

Job seekers and employers interested in participating in the Wage Connect program should speak to their employment services provider.

Interested employers who would like to learn more about Wage Connect can visit www.deewr.gov.au/wageconnectsubsidy [link:http://www.deewr.gov.au/wageconnectsubsidy] or contact a local employment services provider on 13 17 15.

For more information

Media Contact: media@deewr.gov.au [link:mailto:media@deewr.gov.au] Non-media queries: 1300 363 079

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