THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
THE HON KATE ELLIS MP
Minister for Employment Participation
The Australian Government has announced that future contracts for Disability Employment Services-Employment Support Service will run for five years to ensure greater stability and continuity.
Minister Ellis said that in the 2011-12 Budget the Australian Government announced unprecedented investment in services to help people with disability to find work.
“All Australians have a right to the dignity and self respect that employment brings and without access to paid employment, people with a disability risk life on the margins of our community,” Ms Ellis said.
“As our Government invests more into disability employment services than ever before – supporting new programs and subsidies to help job seekers find work – we also have to make sure those services are of the highest possible standard.”
“By moving to five year contracts for these services we will ensure greater stability and continuity for the job seekers with disability who rely on them.”
Today the Australian Government released the Disability Employment Services Star Ratings – which reveal the services that are performing well and those that need to improve.
These March quarter Star Ratings will be used as a basis to determine, which service providers will be required to re-bid for their existing business later this year.
Services performing at the 4 and 5 star level will not be required to re-tender but will be given the opportunity to expand and assist more job seekers in new areas.
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten said that the decision to tender for these services would mean people with a disability, their families and carers can be sure that the best possible service is being provided,
“The decision to tender for these services was made with the interests of people with disability at the very centre of our Government’s thinking,” Mr Shorten said.
“This competitive tender process is an important step to ensuring those organisations best placed to deliver services are able to continue to help some of the most disadvantaged people in the labour market.”
“Delivering quality and stable employment services is a critical part of our Government’s commitment to supporting people with a disability to have genuine choice and control over their lives.”
The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Disability Employment Australia have welcomed today’s announcement of a contract extension to five years and the release of the star ratings.
Lynette May of Disability Employment Australia said that “This is an excellent decision by the Minister, it will provide much needed stability, which we haven’t had in this program since its inception.”
“The additional two years will allow DES providers to develop and maintain supportive relationships with employed and most importantly with the over 74 000 people with enduring disability in the program.”
Currently there are 200 organisations delivering Employment Support Service through 1149 sites around Australia – supporting over 75,000 people with disability.
Between 1 July 2011 and 31 March 2012, 25,100 people with a disability were placed into paid employment through the Disability Employment Services-Employment Support Service.
View the performance ratings at www.jobsearch.gov.au/provider.
Ms Ellis’ media contact: Jamila Rizvi 0438 644 603
Mr Shortens’ media contact: Sam Casey 0421 697 660
DEEWR Media: [email protected] Non-media enquiries: 1300 363 079