Increase in jobs for people with disabilities

Jobs for people with a disability employed under the Commonwealth government's open employment services program increased by 48%, from 4,736 to 7,027, during 1995, according to data presented in a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to be released next Wednesday.

The report, Open Employment Services for People with Disabilities 1995: The First Year of NIMS Data, presents data for 1995 on open employment services for people with disabilities funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services.

This is the first year that comprehensive data on these services have been collected under a new system funded by the Department, and managed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in co-operation with an industry representative.

'At the end of 1995 over 18,000 clients ranging in age from 15 to 64 years were assisted by nearly 250 services in the open labour market', the senior author of the report, Dr Phil Anderson, said.

'Clients had a range of disability types. Over one-half were people with an intellectual/learning disability; 18% had a psychiatric disability and 12% had a physical disability.'

Other findings in the report include:

  • The average time worked per week was 26 hours. The average rates of pay were $9 per hour and $229 per week.
  • Although some were training positions, two-thirds of supported jobs were on a permanent, regular basis. These were spread across all industry types, e.g. hospitality, manufacturing and retail. Two-thirds of the jobs that had been given support during 1995 were still current at the end of the year. The average duration of jobs current at the end of 1995 was 74 weeks.
  • The likelihood of getting a job increased if the client was supported by an agency with a low client-to-staff ratio.
  • Wage rates were higher in urban areas than rural and remote areas, and clients in remote areas were less likely to get permanent employment.

22 April 1997


Further information: Dr Phil Anderson, ph. 02 6244 1125 or 04 1923 9581 (mobile).
For media copies of the report (137pp., summary 9pp.): Chris Finnegan, ph. 02 6244 1032 or 02 6244 1044 (fax).
Availability: Check the AIHW for details.