When does Every opportunity start?

This is a three-year plan for 2018 to 2020, starting February 2018.

Who is Every opportunity for?

Every opportunity is a plan for the more than one-million people with disability living in Victoria, and for their families, friends, advocates and carers. It’s also for local businesses, large and small, the public sector, and the broader Victorian economy.

Working in partnership with people with disability, business, community partners and all levels of government is vital to the success of our plan.

Whose plan is it?

Every opportunity is a plan of the Victorian government and its departments and agencies. The development of an economic participation plan for people with disability was a key commitment made in Absolutely everyone: state disability plan 2017-2020.

What is the plan doing to improve employment opportunities for people with disability?

The plan includes 21 actions to improve the work, study and business opportunities for people with disability. Specific examples of early actions include increasing investment in Jobs Victoria initiatives to provide more employment opportunities for people with disability, creating 50 internships for people with disability across the Victorian economy, and sponsoring traineeships, cadetships and graduate careers of people with disability in Victorian health services.

This plan will also form the foundation of engagement opportunities with senior business leaders and other key stakeholders, whose support and commitment to action will play a critical role in its long-term success.

Isn’t employment a Commonwealth Government responsibility?

We believe work is required at every level of government and across all businesses large and small to redress the level of disadvantage experienced by people with disability and to make real and positive change.

This strategy will draw on and activate the levers available to the Victorian Government – procurement, investment, accountability measures and leadership – to drive greater economic outcomes for Victorians with disability.

Why were public sector disability employment targets developed as part of the plan?

The representation of people with disability in the Victorian public sector fell from four to three per cent in 2015 and has remained at that level since.

This compares with an estimated nine per cent of people with disability in the broader Victorian workforce. We believe a strong catalyst is required to change longstanding attitudes and organisational cultures that are at the root of the workforce exclusion of people with disability in the economy (1).

The Australian Human Rights Commission suggested that the success and positive outcomes from gender targets may be replicated through disability employment targets and as such, made the setting of targets a key recommendation of its Willing to Work Inquiry in 2016 (2).

(1) Murfitt, K., Crosbie, J., Zammit, J., & Williams, G., (inpress), Employer Engagement in Disability Employment: a missing link for Small to Medium Organisations, Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 2017.

(2) Recommendation 47: That in order to increase the number of people with disability recruited and retained in the public services that the APS and state and territory public service commissions (amongst a range of other complementary measures) adopt sector-wide and agency-specific targets for proportions of staff with disability recruited and retained, include performance against these targets in performance management systems and report annually to public service commissions and in annual reports. Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability, Australian Human Rights Commission, 2016.

How are the targets intended to work?

Organisations set targets on a regular basis to focus their efforts on achieving improved outcomes (for example, targets for financial and operating performance). A disability employment target will operate in much the same way, by setting objectives around a key management area of focus, in this case, increasing the number of employees with disability across the Victorian Government (3).

(3) Workplace Gender Equality Agency, How to set gender diversity targets: Guidelines for setting and meeting targets to increase gender diversity in the workplace, 2013.

How were the public sector disability employment targets developed?

The initial target of six per cent by 2020 was selected as an achievable interim target. By way of example, the Department of Health and Human Services set a five per cent target for the employment of people with disability for the first year of its People Strategy 2020.

The secondary target of 12 per cent by 2025 was selected as an ambitious target and one that will demonstrate leadership across both the government and non-government sectors. This target was developed with reference to the standards set by a range of organisations considered to be high performers in the employment of people with disability in both the private and public sectors.

Whilst the achievement of these targets is ambitious, we believe they are realistic. We also understand that work will be required at a number of levels, with appropriate resourcing over time, to support their introduction and address the associated challenges.

Who does the disability employment target apply to?

The six per cent disability employment target by 2020 will initially be applied across government departments and non-sworn staff of Victoria Police. The target will later be extended across the broader public sector.

How do I find out more about careers in the VPS?

We are committed to ensuring our workforce is reflective of the community we serve, and this includes increasing the employment of people with disability and actively promoting awareness and understanding to create inclusive and diverse work environments. To learn more about our commitment to equal opportunity employment go to: https://careers.vic.gov.au/why/people-with-a-disability.

You can also find out more about the range of careers across the Victorian at: https://careers.vic.gov.au/exploration.

How do I apply for a job in the VPS?

We strongly encourage people with disability to apply for jobs in the Victorian Government.

Most job vacancies are advertised on the Victorian Government careers web pages at https://careers.vic.gov.au/.

Departments and agencies might also use disability employment service providers, jobs boards, newspapers agency web careers pages and specialist publications for more technical roles.

You can also gain help at any stage of the recruitment process by contacting the human resources branch in the department or agency, or the nominated contact officer for an advertised vacancy.

Were people with disability consulted for the plan?

Yes. The Victorian Disability Advisory Council was actively involved in contributing to Every opportunity and we will also work with the Enablers Network (Network of Victorian Public Sector Employees with Disability) on the public sector employment plan and associated initiatives.

The wide-ranging consultations undertaken to develop Victoria’s state disability plan also informed Every opportunity.

What were some of the key themes identified through the state disability plan that relate to economic participation?

There were key themes that emerged through the state disability plan consultations which helped to inform the development of Every opportunity.

Key themes include the need to:

  • ensure support to ensure better pathways from education to employment for students with disability
  • show government leadership and action on its own employment of people with disability
  • harness the opportunities offered through social procurement
  • support different models of economic participation, including business ownership, microbusiness and social enterprises
  • address the low visibility of people with disability in employment and the broader economy, which are regarded as contributing factors to discrimination, workforce barriers and employer attitudes around disability
  • address the low awareness among employers of the benefits of employing people with disability and the general lack of knowledge, skills and tools to recruit with confidence.
How does Every opportunity fit with the NDIS?

The NDIS is a significant reform that is changing the way disability services are funded and accessed in Victoria to ensure all people with disability get the support and services they need and deserve.

By 2019 Victoria will be investing $2.5 billion per year into the NDIS, which will mean better outcomes for people with disability who will have greater choice and control over the services and decisions affecting their lives.

Enhancing the economic participation of people with disability is a key objective of the NDIS; however, this opportunity will not be achieved without significant targeted and complementary effort beyond the NDIS itself.

How will progress be measured?

The strategy’s impact will be measured through an outcomes framework that is being developed to support implementation of Absolutely everyone. The indicators and measures for the outcomes framework are currently being developed in consultation with key stakeholders.

Who will lead the implementation of the plan?

This strategy will be jointly led by the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing and the Minister for Industry and Employment.

The Office for Disability, within the Department of Health and Human Services will have lead responsibility for the overall coordination of the strategy across government.

How will progress be reported?

The first public Absolutely everyone annual report will be tabled in parliament in 2018, with progress against the indicators and measures, including those related to economic participation, reported annually after that.

Will there be other actions across the life of the plan?

Every opportunity has 21 early actions. These are the first steps across three outcome areas outlined in the plan. Further actions will be developed over its three-year life, in particular through increased investment in Jobs Victoria initiatives.

Victorian Government departments will also be taking action consistent with Every opportunity through the development and implementation of a Victorian public sector disability employment action plan.

How do I find out more?

To read the plan and find out more visit statedisabilityplan.vic.gov.au If you have any questions please email the Office for Disability at ofd@dhhs.vic.gov.au or call 1300 880 043.