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Call for comment on new Disability Employment Services

Wed, 20 May 2009, 01:04 PM

The Hon Brendan O'Connor
Minister for Employment Participation

20 May, 2009

Media release
Call for comment on new Disability Employment Services

The Australian Government is inviting feedback on its new $1.2 billion Disability Employment Services.

Speaking at the ACE Leaders Forum in Melbourne, the Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O'Connor, today released the exposure draft of the tender for the new Disability Employment Services and Employer Incentives Scheme 2010-2012.

From March 1, 2010 existing caps on services will be removed and all job seekers with disability will have access to individually tailored employment services while employers will have access to greater support.

The new services were developed after significant consultation with stakeholders including industry bodies, community and advocacy groups and individuals.

The new services will substantially improve services for job seekers with a disability, their families and carers, employers and employment service providers.

"The feedback that has been received during the consultation process has been invaluable in informing the final detail of the new model," Mr O'Connor said.

"I would like to acknowledge the input of individuals; their families and advocates; disability employment service providers; and industry representatives to the development of the new model.

"Feedback on the exposure draft will help further fine tune the tender to ensure we have the best possible employment services available for job seekers with disability."

Mr O'Connor said the new model of service will benefit job seekers with disability, their families and carers, employers and employment service providers.

Key features of the new services include:

* Removal of existing caps with services to be a demand driven, giving all eligible job seekers with disability, including school leavers, access to flexible, tailored assistance, * Stronger focus job seeker employment outcomes, * Stronger incentives for skills development, education and training, particularly in areas of local skills shortages, * Services will be tailored to better meet the needs of job seekers with disability and more responsive to employers, * Red tape will be reduced and administration streamlined, allowing providers more time to help people with disability to find employment, and, * Funding for remote services will be substantially increased with current loadings of 20 and 30 per cent boosted up to 70 per cent.

A review of the current DES found the current system forced some job seekers to wait for services, inflexible for both job seekers and employers and laden with red tape.

In addition to calling for written comments on the exposure draft, the Government will hold a series of consultation sessions for stakeholders and other interested parties.

Closing date for comments on the Exposure Draft is Wednesday, July 1 2009.

Exposure Draft documents and further information about times and locations of consultation sessions is available at www.workplace.gov.au/espurchasing.

Contact name: Media Contact
Contact phone: 1300 363 079
Contact email:media@deewr.gov.au

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