Creating jobs for people with disability

3 December 2016

International Day of People with Disability logo

One year after launching the Disability Action Plan, the NSW Department of Industry is celebrating the success of its social procurement program.

One year ago today on International Day of People with Disability, the NSW Department of Industry launched its Disability Inclusion Action Plan outlining the practical steps the department will take to contribute to the NSW State Disability Action Plan which will enable people with a disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens.

Today the department is celebrating part of the plan - the success of its social procurement program which has delivered new jobs and opportunities for people with disability. In total the department has created 115 supported employee roles and procured $1,309,354 in services from disability enterprises in the last financial year. This has increased from $641,637 in the 2013-14 financial year, with further contracts in the pipeline.

Director of Procurement and Chief Procurement Officer, Andrew Dean, explained why the partnership with National Disability Services (NDS), Australia's peak body for non-government disability service organisations, is so successful. “We have developed an agreement with NDS whereby they source disability enterprises that are able to cost effectively deliver services we need. NDS make engagement of the not-for-profit enterprises easy as they manage the whole process,” said Andrew.

One of the department’s disability service providers, Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) contracted to capture information from over 1700 vehicle log books, are fast approaching a significant milestone - half a million lines of data captured for the department.

Head of Development at SCIA, Peter Murray said, “This project has been one of the most enjoyable I have managed in my 40 years in the workforce. I have watched five people with disability, all of whom were previously unemployed (one for 10 years) benefit greatly. Three of the original four people employed are still in the team, love the job and consistently remind me how important it is to them. One of the team has moved onto another more senior role within SCIA and is providing peer support and advocacy services to our members, many of whom are unemployed and struggling to get their lives back on track after injury. Her replacement has now been in this job longer than any other job she has had previously and the work is helping her significantly in her major life challenges.”

This is an outstanding achievement and an excellent opportunity to grow employment for people with disability.