Why skills to improve the inclusion of people with disability matter
There are 2.1 million people with a disability, of working age, in Australia, and research indicates that people with disability are significantly underrepresented in education and employment. Only around half of working age Australians with disability are in the labour force, compared to 83 per cent of those without disability. As well, students with a disability make up only 4.3 per cent of all students undertaking vocational education and training (VET) in Australia.
PwC’s Skills for Australia was commissioned to investigate how the VET sector and industry can address poorer education and employment outcomes for people with disability, and build skills to support the inclusion of people with disability in three contexts: VET, employment and customer service.
About the Inclusion of People with Disability Cross Sector Project
The Inclusion of People with Disability in VET project is the first time government and industry have come together to explore how the development of training packages could increase the participation of people with disability in VET and the workplace. This cross sector project aims to equip vocational educators, employers and customer service providers with the skills and knowledge they need to better include people with disability in education, employment and service contexts. The intention is for the project to reduce duplication across the national VET system through the development of common training components on disability-related matters that can be used across multiple industries.
Work on the Case for Endorsement commenced in October 2017 and involved:
- Establishment of a dedicated ‘Inclusion of People with Disability in VET’ Project Reference Group (PRG), consisting of various Industry Reference Committee (IRC) members from a diverse range of industries, subject matter experts and people with first-hand experience of disability;
- Extensive desktop research and environment scan to understand what already exists both here and internationally (best and better practice), and to provide the evidence base to develop cross sector training – see the ‘Environmental Scan’ report;
- Nationwide consultations with industry and stakeholders at various stages throughout November 2017 to August 2018 with stakeholders from across a range of industries, geographies and stakeholder types to ensure input of multiple perspectives (including industry, people with disability themselves, government bodies, training providers and subject matter experts);
- Development of draft training products (6 new disability-related units of competency: 4 in Business Services (BSB) Training Package and 2 in Training and Education (TAE) Training Package);
- Independent quality assurance, editorial and equity reviews, including multiple reviews of draft training products by the eight state/territory training authorities;
- Development of a Case for Endorsement, prepared on behalf of the Business Services IRC (for new cross sector units housed in the Business Services Training Package) and the Education IRC (for new cross sector units housed in the Training and Education Training Package) to seek approval for the development of the new cross sector training products.
The AISC approved the development of four new disability cross sector units at their meeting in December 2018. These new units of competency are now housed in the Business Services (BSB) Training Package.
More information on these four units can be found in the Case for Endorsement below, which also contains the five cross sector units for our Teamwork and Communication project.
The AISC approved the final two disability cross sector units at their meeting in February 2019. We expect these units to be added to the Training and Education (TAE) Training Package by October 2019.
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