A new pilot program has been launched to deliver up to 80 traineeships for the disability sector, in partnership between the State and Federal governments, and National Disability Services (NDS).
Minister for Industry and Skills, David Pisoni said the Disability Sector Traineeship Pilot Project represents a signature project under Skilling South Australia, to boost the number of traineeships in the disability sector.
“This pilot program aims to expand the Group Training Organisations (GTO) model into industries or groups that do not currently use it, such as disability,” Minister Pisoni said.
“This approach has been developed in consultation with disability sector employers, many of whom find it difficult to fill vacancies with suitable workers and who don’t normally use traineeship arrangements.
“This new innovative and flexible program is designed to meet the needs of both employers in a transitioning sector and students developing diverse skills and experience.”
Minister Pisoni said the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rollout across South Australia will require the disability workforce to increase between an estimated 10,250 to 12,550 full-time employees by 2020 which represents a workforce gap of around 6,000 jobs.
“This pilot program for the disability sector will help close the gap, as a part of Skilling South Australia involving a $203 million investment, to create 20,800 apprenticeships and traineeships over four years, which is supported by the Federal Government,” he said.
“It is helping trainees gain diverse work experience across multiple disability sector organisations and services including accommodation, community settings, children’s services, disability enterprises and day centres.”
Disability service provider SCOSA CEO, Dorothy Belperio said attracting suitably qualified staff has been one of the biggest challenges for the sector, but the new program is now expected to increase its workforce by as much as 30 per cent in 2019.
“This is a very positive initiative and in SCOSA’s case we employ just over 200 staff but over time we expect this number to increase significantly as our organisation grows,” she said.
National Disability Services (NDS) Chief Executive Chris Tanti said the project will bring together government, GTOs and the disability sector to deliver much-needed workers for a growing number of people with disability.
“I thank both the State and Federal governments for supporting this innovative workforce approach to helping increase the number of workers in the disability sector,” he said.
For more information, call 1800 673 097 or visit www.vet.skills.sa.gov.au