Training information for aspiring and existing disability sector workers

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is transforming the way disability services are funded and delivered across Australia. Through providing reasonable and necessary support to people with disability, the NDIS is expected to vastly increase the number of people receiving these services, as well as creating new jobs and opportunities for workers, service providers and the broader community.

The NDIS is underpinned by specific values and principles that will revolutionise the way disability support services are offered — giving participants choice and control over what, how, when and where their support is provided.

In Queensland, the scheme was rolled out from July 2016 to June 2019. Fully operational, around 97,000 Queenslanders with disability are expected to be supported under the NDIS, with the state's workforce expanding significantly over the next 4 to 5 years.

Key information

Work in the disability sector

A career in the disability sector can be personally rewarding and can make a real difference in the lives of people with disability. In supporting people with disability to achieve their aspirations and to live as independently as possible, workers need to be flexible, adaptable and positive.

An important imperative of the NDIS is that the workforce reflects the demographic diversity of the Australian population. Findings to date suggest that NDIS participants are seeking workers with common, relatable values and attributes. This means there is a demand for workers, from a variety of backgrounds, who put people with disability at the centre of decision making.

Work can be challenging and highly varied in location, time and the services provided. Occupations can range from support workers, allied health professionals and support coordinators to managers and administrators, local area coordinators, planners and assessors.

As disability service providers adapt to the NDIS, growth is also expected across business management, with increased focus on areas like customer service, workforce flexibility, innovation and technology.

If you aspire to work in the sector, it is recommended you contact local employers to identify specific work opportunities and requirements.

To work with people with disability in Queensland, currently you must hold a Blue Card (working with children and young people) and/or a Yellow Card (working with adults with disability). Checking your eligibility for these cards beforehand can assist you in making decisions.

CareCareers, a not-for-profit initiative, has information about working in the disability sector, including job advertising, career planning resources and a practitioner network. The site also has information to help you determine if disability sector work is right for you, including a career quiz and an online learning module designed to inform current and potential workers about the transformation the NDIS is creating.

Career pathways

Prior to committing to a career pathway, contact local employers to determine which qualification or skill set might be the most valuable for local needs.

The Priority Skills List and the User Choice qualification and price list identify qualifications and skill sets that attract a government subsidy, including those applicable to the disability sector workforce.

A range of subsidised training opportunities to support career pathways and broaden the skills of existing workers is also available.

Many of the entry-level certificate III qualifications can be undertaken as a traineeship or under the Free tafe for Year 12 graduates initiative.

Training pathways

The Queensland Skills Gateway allows you to search and browse vocational education and training (VET) information, including available courses, training providers, government funding and career pathways.

The gateway also includes a tool to help you check if you are eligible for government subsidised training in Queensland.

The Certificate 3 Guarantee provides a government subsidy to allow eligible Queenslanders to obtain their first post-school certificate III level qualification, while Higher Level Skills provides priority certificate IV and above qualifications and skill sets.

Skilling Queenslanders for Work helps eligible Queenslanders to gain the skills, qualifications and experience needed to enter and stay in the workforce, with programs targeted for people who experience disadvantage.

The User Choice program provides public funding for the delivery of accredited, entry-level training to apprentices and trainees.

Pre-qualified supplier system

Government subsidised training is delivered by a network of quality pre-qualified suppliers (PQS), which are registered training organisations endorsed by industry and pre-approved by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to deliver eligible training and assessment services.

The PQS system delivers choice for you and your employer to select the qualification and PQS that best meets your skilling needs.

PQS deliver training in inclusive learning environments to support your participation and the participation of all learners, regardless of background, including people with disability.

The department also supports the participation of people with disability in subsidised training through the Skills Disability Support (SDS) program.

Further information on NDIS

For general information, news and enquiries:

The NDIS is now fully operational in Queensland. Visit the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors website to:

For more information on training in Queensland and to contact your regional training office, phone 1300 369 935.

Last updated 18 November 2019

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