IMPROVING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY

Children with Disability Australia (CDA) will undertake a scoping project to review and progress national programs required to create better employment outcomes for young people with disability, after school. CDA welcomes the support of The Pratt Foundation to achieve this.

Children with Disability Australia (CDA) is the national peak body that represents children and young people with disability, aged 0-25 years.

In Australia, people with disability are only half as likely to be employed as people without disability.

Stephanie Gotlib, Executive Officer, CDA said: “There are a number of barriers that young people with disability routinely face when seeking employment after leaving school. Through this program CDA will focus on creating better pathways and opportunities for transition from school to employment for young people with disability,”

“Gaining employment is often a significant challenge for young people with disability. This can lead to a lifetime of dependence on income support and social services,”

“Effectively, young people with disability are denied access to employment because of entrenched discrimination and lack of support. This can and must change.”

CDA will undertake a review of current practice in post-school transition planning and management for young people with disability.

Ms Gotlib said: “There is also work to be done in the wider community. We need to challenge the culture of low expectations that prevails and recognise the valuable contribution that young people with disability make in the workforce,”

“Another fundamental step to increase the employment rates of young people with disability is the implementation of urgent education reforms. Students with disability deserve the same opportunities to attain the requisite skills and knowledge to be job ready as their peers without disability.”

CDA will complete its report in early 2015.

STATISTICS SNAPSHOT

· 53% of people with disability are employed compared to 83% of people without disability

· The unemployment rate for 15-64 year olds with disability in 2009 was 7.8% compared with 5.1% for people without disability. Of people aged 15-64 years with disability, 46% were not in the labour force, which is significantly higher than people with no disability at 17%

· People aged 16-24 years constitute 27% of the total number of people receiving the Disability Support Pension (DSP) where intellectual/learning disability is recorded as the primary condition

· 66.7% of DSP claims granted where intellectual/learning was recorded as the primary condition were to claimants in the 16-24 year age range

· The current employment rate of people with disability in Australia is low against the OECD average. People with a disability in Australia are only half (50%) as likely to be employed as people without a disability. In comparison for the OECD, the relativity is 60%. Considering the top eight OECD countries, the relativity is closer to 70%.

· 45% of people with a disability in Australia live in or near poverty, more than double the OECD average of 22%. Furthermore, Australia has a relative poverty risk (i.e. people with a disability compared to people without a disability) of 2.7, against the OECD average of 1.6