As the Deputy will be aware, the Comprehensive Employment Strategy is a 10-year, whole-of-government strategy aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities who wish to work.
The Strategy’s six strategic priorities are:
- Build skills, capacity and independence
- Provide bridges and supports into work
- Make work pay
- Promote job retention and re-entry to work
- Provide co-ordinated and seamless support
- Engage employers
The implementation of the Strategy is monitored by the Comprehensive Employment Strategy Implementation Group which is independently chaired and meets on a bi-monthly basis to monitor and oversee implementation of the Strategy, with the Chair preparing an annual independent report on implementation each year. The Group is made up of senior representatives from Government Departments, the National Disability Authority and from the Disability sector.
The foundation phase of the Strategy has been completed, and a variety of key actions have been progressed, e.g. publication of the Make Work Pay report, review of career guidance, research on vocational rehabilitation in other jurisdictions, on-going work to improve the accessibility of public transport etc.
The second three-year action plan has now been agreed by the Implementation Group. It will incorporate the next set of strategic priorities, continuing progress on any actions requiring further work, and new actions to support continued progress in achieving the goals of the Strategy. A suite of indicators has been developed by the National Disability Authority to allow measurement of outcomes at a high level over the lifetime of the Strategy. This will enable progress to be tracked on each action. It is my intention that all actions will be completed by the end of the second action plan.