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AFDO today released its response to the Department of Social Services Employment Framework, chiefly recommending a move to a market driven approach based on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and practical measures and reform that support Australian businesses to become disability confident.

“Taking into account our looming workforce challenges, it is critical that people with disability and businesses are at the centre of a new employment framework to ensure that people with disability are not left behind”, said Mr Matthew Wright, CEO of AFDO.

“Clearly, we have had no tangible change in the last decade and it’s time that we had an open and frank conversation with business about what’s really holding back the employment of people with disability”, said Mr Wright.

The submission outlines a series of recommendations, including five critical components of a new model that include

  • Set up of a market driven approach based on the NDIS, with a funding package allocated to jobseekers with disability to purchase employment related supports
  • Direct support to businesses of all sizes to become disability confident
  • Leadership by Federal, State and Territory governments to increase the proportion of people with disability employed in the public sector
  • Development of clear benchmarks, goals and accountabilities to close the employment gap experienced by people with disability
  • Systemically addressing the concerns of business regarding Workplace Health and Safety, industrial relations and disability discrimination.

“Our aim is not to increase the number of jobseekers looking for work (participation) but rather a tangible, measurable increase in the number of people with disability in jobs”, said Mr Wright.

“The employment of people with disability is a complex and multi-faceted issue that requires a sophisticated response. The missing ingredient with labour market programs to date has been addressing the needs of businesses and people with disability”, said Mr Wright.

AFDO’s submission to the Department of Social Services Disability Employment Framework can be accessed at

Please direct all enquiries to AFDO CEO, Mr Matthew Wright on 0428 608 861.

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