The Baird Government must take action to close the disability employment gap by creating more jobs for people with disability and breaking down barriers to employment.

NSW Labor will this week move an amendment to the Jobs for NSW Bill in the Legislative Council to require at least one member of the new Jobs for NSW to have expert knowledge of disability employment. 

Research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that: 

  • The unemployment rate for people with disability in NSW is almost twice the unemployment rate for people without disability;
  • Only half of working-age people with disability participate in the labour force, compared with 80 percent of people without disability;
  • People with disability who work part-time are more likely to be underemployed that people without disability.

Information from the NSW Public Service Commission also shows that the proportion of people with disability employed in the NSW Public Sector is declining, and has fallen by 1.9 percent over the last eight years. 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Disability Services Sophie Cotsis: 

“Ensuring that people with disability are able to find employment is essential to realising the goal of people with disability exercising their own choices and living independently.” 

“During the last election campaign Labor committed to establish a disability employment panel and provide $10 million to fund new employment initiatives for people with disability.” 

“We believe the Baird Government must do more and we are calling on them to take action to create more jobs for people with disability.” 

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Adam Searle: 

“The Baird Government wants to look like it cares about creating jobs for people in NSW – but when it comes to creating jobs for people with disability, the Government is missing in action.” 

“Closing the disability employment gap is a crucial priority, and we’ll move an amendment to the Jobs for NSW Bill 2015 to ensure that there will be at least one person on this new Board with experience creating jobs for people with disability.”