NDIS

Jobs booming in this sector

carecareers job board

It’s something we have been talking about for a long time now – a jobs boom. The number of jobs being created in this sector is just staggering.

Job board giant SEEK’s latest report is headlined “Job growth boosted by community services and healthcare”. Not sure about about the career potential within disability, community and aged care?  This report is just what you need to read.

The report classifies the roles in our sector under “Community Services and Development”; the Australian Government lumps them into a larger category called “Healthcare”.

“Healthcare” is Australia’s biggest employer with just under 1 in 6 of the workforce. Remarkably, as the report confirms, it’s also the second-fastest growing. That means in pure number terms, more jobs are being created in healthcare than in any other sector.

Just how many jobs are being created?

According to the report the number of job ads in the category has risen by 49% in the space of a year.  The “key occupation driving growth in Community Services is Aged and Disability Support”.

The Productivity Commission forecasts that Australia may need almost one million aged care workers by 2050 if it is to meet the anticipated demand from ageing baby boomers.

And disability jobs are being boosted by the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Economists at Goldman Sachs estimate that around 50,000 jobs were created as a result of the NDIS in 2017, and another 100,000 may be expected by 2020.

As we said, these are staggering numbers. No other industry offers this kind of opportunity.

NDIS: What is it, does it work, and what does it mean for my work?

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If you’re interested in working in the disability sector, and trying to learn about it, four letters that will become very familiar to you are: N, D, I and S. In almost any story you read about people with disability, it’s a safe bet that ‘NDIS’ will get a mention. So what is the NDIS and what does it mean for your career in disability? Here are some frequently asked questions unpacked by the carecareers team.

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a big change to the way disability supports and services are funded. It focuses on giving people with disability choice and control over their lives, and on helping them to achieve their goals. The NDIS has support from all sides of politics and the wider Australian community. People with disability, their families and carers, and disability service providers fought hard for the NDIS. You can read all about that journey at Every Australian Counts.

How is the NDIS changing the disability sector?

Let’s talk numbers first. The NDIS is doubling the funding for, and size of, the sector. That means tens of thousands of new job opportunities across the country.

The NDIS is also changing the nature of services delivered. Its aim is to have people with disability call the shots, and you can expect that they will have new ideas about the services they want. The result is different kinds of job opportunities, as well as more of them.

On a practical level, under the NDIS, funding is now directed to people with disability and their families, rather than to disability service providers. That means employers in the sector, who used to receive block funding from governments, now have to compete for individuals’ business. This has made life more complicated for providers but, to their great credit, it’s something they themselves pushed for. They made the call because they recognise the NDIS is all about the people they support. This speaks volumes for the kind of organisations they are.

Why am I hearing that the NDIS has problems?

Any change of this magnitude – and this really is a massive change – requires an awful lot of things to go right simultaneously. Even with the best planning in the world that does not always occur. Right now we are right in the middle of this process of change and there are genuine stresses and strains in some parts of the industry.

There have been some negative stories in the media and there will probably be more. However that should not take away from the bigger picture. There’s no argument that the ideals of the NDIS are transformational. Its ultimate goal is a better life for people with disability – and there’s enough evidence already to suggest that is achievable. Not all of the implementation has gone smoothly, but it’s in everybody’s interest to address issues quickly. Everyone in the sector wants the NDIS that they fought for and they are working hard, with governments, to fix the problems.

Should I be concerned about moving into disability work?

No. There are some teething problems with the introduction of the NDIS, but there are some amazing success stories too. This is a whole industry built around people who want to make a difference, and it’s on a strong trajectory of growth. The disability sector has an ever-increasing number and variety of roles, and it welcomes newcomers from all backgrounds.

No end of people who come to carecareers tell us that joining this sector was the best move they ever made. If you’re still on that journey, and want to know whether it’s right for you, get in touch with our team at the Career Centre on info@carecareers.com.au

How the NDIS is changing the nature of Support Work

Mel Schlaeger

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) means choice for people with a disability (PWD) and for support staff. But what does this mean in action?

 From the perspective of a person with a disability NDIS means choice of service provider and support workers. This can also mean self-managing your support budget or having a coordinator of supports to help with paying staff and organising other aspects of your NDIS plan as required.

 In practical terms NDIS should mean that people with a disability can be in the driver’s seat of their own lives. Service providers have to be mindful that people with disabilities are now customers who can take their funding wherever their individual needs can be best met.

In my role with projectABLE, I hope to enable young people to see people with a disability as just like them, but with different support needs.  We want the students who attend projectABLE workshops to get the sense that supporting someone who has a disability is not about creating a life for the person.  Instead, it’s about walking alongside them and supporting the life they have created for themselves.

I want to acknowledge at this point that some people with disability will need more help than others to create and maintain a meaningful lifestyle. However it is our consistent purpose through disability awareness training to ensure PWD are not subject to pity in today’s society. For some students, projectABLE presenters are the first people with disability that they have met who are working.  I feel confident that in the future, young people will no longer be surprised that PWD are paid members of the workforce.

Future workers in the disability sector will have the opportunity to work with PWD who are active members of the community and who will be more confident to access the choices that are available to them.  I see the support worker/PWD relationship moving from people being grateful for the support they receive to people instead having the opportunity to connect on a genuine human level.

In the end it all comes down to respecting others and treating everyone as equals, and we can all be a small part of the mosaic that will continue to create positive change now and into the future.

 

Melanie Schlaegar