The views and experiences of people with disability will for the first time be at the forefront of how Disability Employment Services provider performance is measured through the release and implementation of a new Quality Framework.
The Albanese Labor Government is delivering on its commitment to ensure people with disability are at the centre of policy and programs that impact their lives.
There are 4.4 million Australians with disability – 2.1 million of whom are of working age.
The new DES Quality Framework, released today, will ensure that providing a high quality service for people with disability is placed at the forefront of the DES program, and providers are consistently focused on driving meaningful and sustained quality improvement in delivering their services.
Providers will be assessed against four quality elements which focus on the quality of service being provided to people with disability and employers in the achievement of participant employment outcomes.
The unemployment rate for people with disability has not shifted in more than two decades and people with disability face a rate of unemployment three times that of the general public.
Improving disability employment has been a key focus of the Albanese Labor Government and featured prominently at the September Jobs and Skills Summit.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Framework is key to the continuous improvement of the quality and effectiveness of the DES program.
“I have said since taking on this portfolio that we need a more rich, highly specialised employment service to deliver good outcomes and, importantly, one that has the experiences and views of people with disability at the centre of how quality is measured,” Minister Rishworth said.
“I was shocked in learning this wasn’t already the case. Under this new Framework, the rights, goals and support needs of people with disability who are supported by the DES program are paramount as they should be,” Minister Rishworth said.
“The Framework places the participant first and recognises DES providers that are committed to collaboration, innovation, and high-quality service delivery.”
The Framework was developed in consultation with the disability employment sector and participant representative organisations. More than 60 submissions were received from a range of stakeholders on the DES Quality Framework Discussion Paper that was published in December, as well as a series of targeted stakeholder engagement workshops held in June 2023.
Consultation will continue throughout the implementation process in the latter half of 2023, ensuring the feedback of those involved in the program is embedded into the Framework and its supporting tools.
A copy of the Framework is available on the Department of Social Services website.