• Supporting people with disability in WA: Work is critical for a sense of worth

    Image of people celebrating ADE milestone


    More than 4.2 million Australians or 18.5 per cent of the population reported having a disability in 2012, For many of these people, employment opportunities are poor.

    Intework CEO Fiona Beermier said the rising unemployment in Western Australia had added further pressure to Intework's employment programs.

    According to the 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, there are 2.2 million Australians with disability of working age. Of this group, only 52.9 per cent are in the workforce.

    "Employment provides a sense of worth, independence, friendships, pride and the opportunity to learn new skills. A feeling of being included cannot be underestimated to the value it provides the wider community," Ms Beermier said.

    Intework has provided supported employment services for more than two decades.

    Ms Beermier said the current employment landscape was creating significant challenges in finding employment for Intework's participants in the private sector.

    "When unemployment goes up, the placement opportunities for people with a disability goes down," she said.

    "At these times the State Government's innovative procurement policy has come to the fore as a critical element in securing consistent employment for people with a disability through the Australian Disability Enterprise contracts."

    Since 2010 government agencies have been allowed to engage Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) directly in assisting with providing employment for people with a disability, without undertaking a competitive quote or tendering process, provided the service or product being offered represented value for money.

    Government contracts awarded have included ground maintenance services and the collation of reading packs.

    Published date: 26 June 2015