Goldfields-Esperance disability service provider part of pilot program to boost employment opportunities

A pilot program launched by the state government will seek to boost employment opportunities for people with a disability. Photo: File Image.
A pilot program launched by the state government will seek to boost employment opportunities for people with a disability. Photo: File Image.

A local disability support organisation has been selected as part of a state government pilot program to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Disability service providers, including the Goldfields Individual and Family Support Association (GIFSA), will seek to increase employment within their organisations.

GIFSA chief executive officer Robert Hicks said the organisation ‘jumped’ at the opportunity to be involved in the pilot program. 

“What we need to do is demonstrate that we are prepared to make a commitment to increase the number of employees we have,” he said. 

“For us to set the standard and to demonstrate that we are employing, and then we can go to other employers and say ‘we’re doing it, why don’t you?’”

GIFSA will use its own funds and resources to complete the pilot program.

Mr Hicks said disability services providers were putting their money where their mouth was by committing to increasing employment opportunities for people with a disability. 

“We hope that it succeeds because, if it does, then we can demonstrate that there are good reasons for people to employ people with disability.

“If successful, the pilot will expand to other industries.”

Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson said employment provided a sense of purpose and independence.

“It provides opportunities to socialise and develop lifelong friendships with people we wouldn’t have otherwise met,” he said.

“People with disability want these opportunities but often face obstacles to achieving them.

“That is why the role of employers is so important.”