ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: ACTCOSS welcome NDIS workforce inquiry recommendations

15 February 2022

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) has today welcomed a report calling for improved funding, training, and support for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) workforce including investment in developing and growing the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander NDIS workforce.

The NDIS Workforce Final Report published by the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS made recommendations including:

  • Better consultation with workers, their representatives and providers to ensure funding models enable decent pay rates and the recruitment of workers at appropriate seniority and skill levels
  • Targeted strategies to support the growth and development of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander NDIS workforce
  • Improved funding and strategies for training and upskilling disability support workers; and
  • Robust strategies to support the employment of people with disability within the NDIS workforce.

ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell said: “The NDIS funding model has consistently led to the undervaluing of the NDIS workforce, low pay rates and the inability to recruit staff of sufficient seniority and skill levels.

“Low pay rates for frontline community sector staff, combined with Canberra’s high costs of living, means that the workforce is under significant financial stress. Recruitment and retention of staff is increasingly difficult as financial imperatives force disability and other community sector workers into jobs that attract higher salaries and better conditions.

“We also need to better recognise and support the professionalism of the NDIS and community sector workforce. We welcome recommendations in the report calling on the Australian Government to support improvements to training and upskilling.

“It is vital that we have a workforce that understands and reflects the community it is serving. We need more investment in the growth and development of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander NDIS workforce and in expanding employment opportunities for people with disability within the NDIS workforce.

“ACTCOSS made a submission to this inquiry urging the Australian Government and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to work closely with state and territory governments so that strategies and plans to attract people to the aged care, disability and community services sector are coordinated across jurisdictions.

“ACTCOSS has also received funding from the Australian Government to establish a Community Services Careers Hub to promote careers in our sector and to help existing workers to reach their full career potential,” said Dr Campbell.

The NDIS Workforce Final Report published by the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS is available on the Australian Parliament House website.

ACTCOSS’s submission to the inquiry is available on the ACTCOSS website.

ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations. Follow us @ACTCOSS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more information or comment, please contact
Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617.