[Sub ID 4716] Specialist employment for graduates with a disability (National Disability Coordination Officer Program)

Submission ID: 4716
Oganisation name: National Disability Coordination Officer Program
Contact name: Mrs Elicia Ford

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?

Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Graduates (University level and VET at Diploma level or above) with disability are less likely to be employed in graduate level positions, the field relevant to their qualifications and/or for the maximum hours they are capable of working. This means that people with disability, who have overcome all the barriers to complete their tertiary qualifications, are doing so without the subsequent benefits that such an education generally brings: better financial security, job satisfaction and quality of life.
This is confirmed by a number of reports including:
• The Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) annual survey in 2015
• Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey in 2015 (15 to 64 years), Labour Force Participation Rate – (more detail is available)

According to the Willing to Work publication released by the Australian Human Rights Commission, Disability Employment Services are in need of significant improvement with statistics indicating low outcome levels for participants and a low level of awareness from employers.

According to current DES guidelines, full time students are not eligible to receive services whilst studying. This puts the cohort behind students without disability as they are not receiving the support to overcome the impact of disability until after they graduate, therefore limiting opportunity for jobsearch.

What is your idea?
The establishment of a Specialist Employment Service for graduates with disability.

This service would be
• located separately from other DES services
• staffed by professional staff who are trained at the appropriate level and experienced in graduate jobsearch
• have capacity to engage with university services, employers and industry
• able to work with students at any stage of study

The service would provide an extensive, person centred range of services including but not limited to mentoring, work placement, networking, assisted jobsearch at graduate level and training in managing disability at work, disclosure, career development and work readiness.

This service would have the capacity for outreach to University campuses and work collaboratively with University Career Services and Disability Services.