14 April 2019

A Shorten Labor Government will invest in the NDIS workforce and get the scheme back on track by investing $40 million in local NDIS workforce trials and urgently developing a national NDIS workforce strategy.

Scott Morrison and the Liberals have short-changed the NDIS and the people who rely on it, delaying the rollout and capping staff in a bid to deliver a surplus.
The $1.6 billion underspend the Liberals booked in their budget is a direct result of their failure to deliver the NDIS as promised.
77,000 people with a disability and their families are going without vital services because of the delayed rollout.
And on average people are only using just 50 per cent of their first NDIS plan, largely because of a lack of access to services.
That’s not good enough and only Labor will get the NDIS back on track by properly investing in the workforce so quality services are delivered to people with disability.
As many as 90,000 extra NDIS workers will be needed over the next five years to meet the needs of the 460,000 Australians who will get access to the NDIS.
A Shorten Labor Government will establish two-year local NDIS workforce trials in 2020 and 2021 to establish the best way to sustainably grow and maintain a skilled NDIS workforce.
The trials will be flexible and place-based and will be a partnership between people with disability, providers, TAFE, government and workers. 
The NDIS workforce trial will have three components:

  1. Ensuring NDIS workers have the foundation skills they need, with up to 3000 training support payments of $2,000 for induction training;
  2. Supporting NDIS workers to get Certificate III qualifications, with up to 2000 training support payments of $4,000; and
  3. Providing a portable professional development entitlement for NDIS workers, with up to 5000 training support payments of $750 per year, so people can take time off work to specialise and upgrade their skills.

Labor will also scrap up-front TAFE fees for 20,000 students studying to get skills for the NDIS and aged care.
The trials will establish the best flexible local solutions to skills shortages, gaps in the training curriculum and course availability, and barriers to getting the right people working in the NDIS.
The initial trial sites will be:

  • Canberra – where the NDIS is creating between 1000 and 1200 new jobs.
  • Townsville – where the NDIS is creating between 800 and 950 new jobs.
  • Joondalup – where the NDIS roll-out is just beginning and hundreds of new workers will be needed.

A Shorten Labor Government will work with state and territory governments to expand the workforce trial to other locations.
Labor will also develop a comprehensive national NDIS workforce strategy, in partnership with people with disability, families and advocates; service providers; state and territory governments; TAFE; and workers.
Only Labor can be trusted to properly fund, deliver and support the NDIS so that people with disability, their families and loved ones get the support they desperately need and deserve.