By Liana Reinhardt, National People Manager
I’ve seen the value diversity and inclusion brings to a workplace. Everyone wants to be a part of something and feel connected. That connection can come from the bonds people make in the workplace, from the meaning people gain from the work, the sense of contribution to the community and the list goes on.
The opportunity for meaningful employment provides economic security but also so much more, including an increased feeling of wellbeing and a greater sense of community. I’ve seen first-hand the difference employment can make and it has a multiplying effect. I have a child, well a young adult now, who is a person with disability.
Recently he started work experience and I’ve never seen him so happy, proud and motivated. In addition to having a disability he also has depression, and considers himself a pessimist. He’s formed this view so that he’s not disappointed by life, that all seemed to turnaround day one of work experience.
He’s got something to look forward to, can’t wait for the next day there and has hope and a belief that he can get a job, this is huge! This hasn’t just changed his outlook but has brought hope to our whole family, and this is the power that inclusion brings.
As an employer, Workskil Australia is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce and always seeks to hire the best candidate. Whenever a new employee with a disability is about to start at Workskil Australia, we ask whether they require any special equipment or workplace modifications to work more successfully. If they answer yes, then we are able to provide these accommodations with support from the Employment Assistance Fund (or EAF).
The EAF is an Australian Government service which provides organisations funding to cover the costs of workplace changes and includes buying equipment, modifications to offices and accessing services for people with disability. Recently, one of our existing employees with a vision impairment was promoted into a training role and we were able to access funding assistance, which made this promotion possible. This included adaptive technology and adjustments to office environment - which were replicated across the two offices where they work.
Unfortunately too few people with disabilities are able to access meaningful employment, with almost with almost twice the unemployment rate (9.4%) when compared to people without disability (4.9%). Many employers may be willing to employ someone with a disability but not know where to start, or may be concerned about the cost of modifications and adaptive technology. Many may not realise the support available to them to assist with these costs, or the networks to connect reach out to assist. This is one reason why days like today are a great opportunity to learn more.
You can see a few more reasons why you should employ a person with a mental health condition, injury or disability here, otherwise you can register your job vacancy and one of our team will get in contact with you.