Rochelle Wallace

Service provider

I have worked in Employment Services since 2004 and most recently Mixed Abilities since 2013. I’m also a mother to three adult children two with different disabilities.

I found the discussion on ‘Engaging Employers’ on page 10 of the most recent discussion paper very interesting. I have utilised for both my children and also the people I work with and support in programs the National Work Experience Program that exists in jobactive and previous employment services and also ‘Job Shadowing’ which is something that has been used within the community services industry on and off for several years between service providers and DHS.

However I’ve implemented this for young adults with disabilities and local employers, much the same as you might when placing someone into volunteer work. The obligation for both participant and employer is for one day. It is a learning experience for both parties and participants are covered by their service providers insurance. My local community and employers have been very receptive to providing real work experience and insight into jobs for people with mixed abilities. People with mixed abilities are loyal and very reliable staff and have a true desire to have paid employment.

Regardless of the hours they can or could contribute to the work place they should be considered for all positions within their capabilities. After reading the article on ‘Engaging Employers’ I feel that if the government was to pay tax incentives to businesses for employing a person or persons with mixed abilities to be eligible for the incentives that the engagement levels of employers and their business would raise significantly across the country. Possibly in the future even providing a required percentage of their workplace that needs to identify as having a disability to qualify for the incentives. As mentioned by the OECD which recommends activating employers to improve disability employment rates by strengthening the role they play in creating a diverse workplace. The paying of tax incentives would opening the national employment arena and provide help to business that may have not been approached in the past or even aware of who to speak too if they wanted to employ someone with a mixed ability.

Money currently and previously used to provide wage subsidies that support one participant with one employer for a specified period should also be directed at the businesses and possibly more so as this would create a real diversity in our work force as employers would be encouraged to provide open employment opportunities in every state and industry.