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Jobs secured for hundreds of workers with disability after successful takeover of Activ Foundation w

The employment future of hundreds of people with disability in Western Australia has been secured today with Activ Foundation to transition their large-scale worksites to Workpower Inc.

Joint with: The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP Minister for Social Services The Hon Bill Shorten MP Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister for Government Services The Hon Mark McGowan MLA Premier of Western Australia The Hon Don Punch MLA Minister for Disability Services; Fisheries; Seniors and Ageing; Small Businesses

Following financial assistance provided to Activ Foundation by the Commonwealth and Western Australian governments so its worksites remained open for a further 18 months, around 600 people with disability will now continue employment.

In May, Activ Foundation announced its intention to close its large-scale industrial work sites in Western Australia. The closures were to commence from mid-July 2022.

The Australian Government established a Transition Taskforce and committed $7.85 million worth of transitional grant funding to keep Activ Foundation’s worksites operating for an additional 18-month period to better support the transition of employees into new placements.

The McGowan Government also provided a funding pool of $4 million to support Western Australian-based Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

WA Premier Mark McGowan and WA Disability Services Minister Don Punch visited the Activ worksite in Bentley on Monday to announce the acquisition.

The acquisition of Activ’s WA worksites to Workpower Inc. is expected to be complete and fully operational by 30 June 2023.

Comments attributed to Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth:

“The acquisition of Activ sites by Workpower is a welcome outcome that will ensure people with disability employed at these sites can continue to work and thrive.

“Employment is more than just work – it provides a place to learn new skills, make social connections and develop in the community.

“Since we first learnt of this decision, the Australian Government has been deeply committed to ensuring the best outcomes for supported employees during this period.

“They have and continue to be our main priority and I welcome today’s news that their employment future has been secured. Importantly, the work of the Transition Taskforce also included family representatives, recognising the value of work in families and communities.”

Comments attributed to Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Shorten:

“The value of work in the lives of people with disability cannot be understated.

“We have done everything we can to put the employees with disability and their families first.

“The Government funding alongside the establishment of the Transition Taskforce underlined our collective commitment to putting supported employees first.

“In order to continue to support these employees, the Transition Taskforce – established by the Department of Social Services alongside the National Disability Insurance Agency and Western Australian Government’s Office of Disability – will continue to monitor the transition from Activ to Workpower.”

Comments attributed to Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan:

“This is a great win for people with disability employed by Activ, and also for their families.

“By working together with Activ, Workpower and the Commonwealth, we’ve secured an outcome that provides certainty and delivers ongoing job opportunities to people with disability across the State.

“My Government has been a strong voice for people with disability in Western Australia, and I’m proud that we have achieved an outcome that continues the legacy created many decades ago by a group of local families, well into the future.”

Comments attributed to Western Australian Disability Services Minister Don Punch:

“I am absolutely thrilled for the workers and their families who now have peace of mind and certainty about their future.

“The collective work by the group of Western Australian Disability Enterprises to achieve alternative options for around 600 workers facing job losses at Activ has been remarkable. The sector worked together to create other jobs as well as supporting the acquisition process.”

Comments attributed to Activ Foundation CEO Michael Heath:

“Activ is grateful for our dedicated staff who worked incredibly hard alongside a number of State and Federal Government departments, families, carers and advocacy groups to gain the best result for our supported employees and staff.

“All of us at Activ Foundation are focused on ensuring Activ remains here for the Western Australian disability community for the long term – improving lives sustainably.

“We’re grateful to be in a position now where we can concentrate on the sustainability of our core services and supports. These include accommodation, property care, community, education and training services and small scale supported employment.”

Comments attributed to Workpower CEO Lee Broomhall:

“Workpower is delighted to have a pivotal role in this announcement which delivers good news and great relief to so many people with disability, their families and carers.

“We are humbled by the confidence shown in us by Activ and excited by and committed to the responsibility we now have to provide a secure employment future for around 600 employees with disability.”

For more information call the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1300 306 120.

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