November 26th until December 2nd marks Disability Action Week for 2022. The purpose of this week is to recognise the contribution people with disability make to communities, families, workplaces, and the economy. The chosen theme for 2022 is “Workforce Diversity: Open Up to Opportunity” which will celebrate and highlight the skills, talents, qualifications, and abilities people with disability bring to Queensland’s workforce.
Currently in Queensland the number one constraint on businesses is worker shortages. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) reported in the June 2022 quarter Pulse Report that general business conditions had improved however, operating and labour costs are at an all-time high and profitability is weak.
Former Paralympian and Australian of the Year for 2022, Dylan Alcott, is a predominant advocate for people with disability. As part of the Dylan Alcott Foundation, he introduced “Remove the Barriers” which is an initiative that aims to raise awareness of the unemployment rate among people with disability and to change perceptions of what they can achieve in the workplace.
Another initiative that has been introduced is “The Field”. This website has been introduced to connect people with disability who want to work with organisations that want to hire more inclusively. The four founders include Dylan Alcott as well as:
- Danielle Fraillon: CEO of Get Skilled Access
- Rhett Simonds: Executive Chairman & CEO of Simonds Group
- Martin Alcott: Co-Founder & Board Member of The Field and Get Skilled Access
In the creation of this initiative, the founders met with a range organisations of all sizes as well as government and advisory groups. A key priority was to ensure the website had key accessible features for maximum inclusivity and accessibility enabling the site to level the playing field in the employment exchange.
Such initiatives could be the answer to the current employment problem businesses are facing. Current statistics show that one in five Australians, 4.3 million people, are living with a disability. Only 54% of people with a disability have employment. There are currently over 500 000 working-age people with disability currently seeking employment. This reiterates the importance of the theme selected for Disability Action Week 2022.
Access Recreation provide a range of programs and opportunities for participants to assist in bridging the unemployment gap. Our Rockhampton team offer a volunteer and work skills group where participants gain employability skills, education on resume and cover letter composition, and practical work skills.
Our Bundaberg team offer School Leaver Employment Supports which aims to develop participants employability skills, provide an understanding of workplace expectations, and build confidence and independence within a workplace environment. Part of these supports is also assisting participants to explore post-school options including study and careers.
Check out the Disability Action Week website for more information and resources.