Background of the Northern Adelaide Workforce Hub:
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a fundamental reform to the delivery of disability care that will change the lives of people with disability. The Scheme’s model of customer-directed purchasing of care supports (built in combination as a package funded through the NDIS) is being progressively implemented in South Australia, with full implementation by 2019/2020.
It is estimated that the number of people receiving disability support across South Australia will almost double from 17,000 to around 32,300 by full Scheme, an increase of 88 per cent. There will be significant job creation across the state to meet the increase in demand for disability services. New and different forms of services and providers will enter the sector and bring diversity, competition and innovation. It is estimated the disability workforce will need to increase from the current workforce of between 5,650 to 6,900 full time equivalent (FTE) employees, to an estimated 10,250 to 12,550 FTE employees – this represents a workforce gap across the state of up to 6,000 jobs. Given higher levels of casualisation and part-time work in the sector, the actual number of jobs and number of individuals required to fill them, will be higher. In addition to this growth, the workforce will need to adjust its current profile to ensure it is flexible and adaptable enough to deliver a person-centred model.
The Government of South Australia has committed resources over the next two years (2017 to 2019) for project activities to support the State’s workforce capacity to meet expected demand from the Scheme for both delivering services and jobs. This activity is coordinated through the Disability Sector Skills and Employment Development Project, led by the Department of State Development (DSD).
Demand for workers is expected to grow in Northern Adelaide and surrounds
Demand for disability services in Northern Adelaide is expected to grow from 4,385 clients to around 9,400 participants under the NDIS (an increase of 114 per cent). To meet the demand for these services under the Scheme, the local workforce in Northern Adelaide is expected to increase from 1,600 FTE workers to around 3,200 FTE workers by 2018-19 (a workforce gap of 1,600 jobs); however, the actual number of jobs is expected to be higher due to casual and part-time arrangements.
The surrounding regions of Western Adelaide and Barossa are also expected to experience increasing demand for disability services. Around 4,100 participants residing in Western Adelaide are expected to access supports through NDIS by full Scheme, an increase of 81 per cent compared with current levels. Similarly, demand for disability services in Barossa is expected to increase by 71 per cent (from 760 clients to 1,300 participants). The anticipated demand for workers in Western Adelaide is expected by increase from 825 to 1525 FTE workers (a workforce gap of 700 full-time jobs), while in Barossa there is expected to be demand for an additional 300 full-time workers (from 150 currently to 450 FTE positions at full Scheme).
Supporting workforce supply through the Disability Workforce Hubs
In November 2016, DSD partnered with Northern Futures to open the first Disability Workforce Hub in South Australia. Since its launch, the Hub has supported over 500 individuals in activities to build the disability sector’s workforce as it prepares to work under the NDIS. One of the Hub’s core purposes is to connect job seekers with local employers, training providers, and employment agencies to help fill local job opportunities in the disability sector. The workforce is not limited to direct care positions but includes ancillary roles.
Due to the expected workforce demand, and to provide practically-focused supports to secure workforce supply for South Australia, the Department is extending the Northern Adelaide Hub for a further two years and resourcing five additional Hubs across the state.
The Department has provided funding to Northern Futures Incorporated to continue operating the Hub in Northern Adelaide over two years, to coordinate support for workforce development during the transition to the NDIS. The Hub will also deliver these services in Western Adelaide and Barossa over this period.
Purpose and Objectives of the Northern Adelaide Disability Workforce Hub:
The Disability Workforce Hub for Northern Adelaide is an important initiative to help secure a sufficient and diverse workforce supply as the region moves towards full implementation of the NDIS. It operates as a ‘One Stop Shop’ model for organisations, workers and job seekers looking for support and assistance across the disability sector. The Hub contributes to building workforce capacity and capability, ensuring local people are employed and to help South Australian employers secure skilled and experienced workers.
The Disability Workforce Hub:
- Connects disability sector employers and suitable job seekers, including through intermediaries such as employment service providers, secondary schools, higher education providers and vocational education and training (VET) organisations
- Builds the capacity of career services practitioners to provide specialist career guidance to individuals wishing to work in the disability sector
- Supports local employers to identify and address their workforce development needs, with a focus on workforce supply.