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 launched in North Queensland in July 2016 and will continue to roll out through to 2019. Once fully implemented, around 97,000 Queenslanders with disability are expected to be supported under the NDIS, with the state's workforce expanding significantly over the next four to five years.
See below for more information about training for working with people with disability.
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.
This includes ensuring 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, with values that 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, 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 assist you to determine if disability sector work is right for you, including a career quiz and an online learning module designed to inform existing and potential workers about the transformation the NDIS will create.
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 for both potential and existing workers.
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 'free training for Year 12 graduates' qualification.
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 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 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. Delivered through the PQS system, SDS provides specialised technology and service as reasonable adjustment in learning.
Visit the NDIS website for further information on the NDIS and to sign up for the NDIS e-newsletter or call the NDIS hotline on 1800 800 110.
Visit the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors website for information on Queensland's NDIS preparations, the Queensland NDIS events calendar and to sign up to the Queensland NDIS e-blast.
For people with hearing or speech loss, contact TTY on 1800 555 677.
Speak and listen, contact 1800 555 727 and for people who need help with English, contact TIS on 131 450.