Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector
The Plan aims to increase the number of people with disability employed across the NSW public sector from an estimated 2.7 per cent to 5.6 per cent by 2027
Why is this important?
The NSW Government is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the community we serve. People with disability are a largely under-engaged workforce and have potential to add skills and perspectives to the NSW public sector.
As the State’s largest employer, with approximately 10.3 per cent of the total NSW workforce, the NSW Government can show leadership in improving employment opportunities for people with disability.
We know that when we get things right for people with disability, we improve the workplace for everybody.
What are we doing?
Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector sets out the Government’s vision to increase and retain the number of people with disability in the public sector over the next ten years.
It is a vision that will see positive change to the public sector.
Opportunities for change include:
- using new and more accessible technologies and systems
- designing workspaces so they are more accessible
- adapting work environments to suit the needs of people with disability
- offering more internships and graduate roles to people with disability.
This is a whole-of-Government plan, supported by Health, Education, Justice, Planning and Environment, Industry, Family and Community Services, and the Public Service Commission.
The Plan is underpinned by 4 strategic priorities.
The NSW Government will review how we recruit and make changes so we better meet the needs of people with disability.
This may include departments achieving ‘Disability Confident Recruiter’ status from the Australian Network on Disability or having a “Go To” person to support people with disability so reasonable adjustments can be made during the interview process.
- develop sourcing and attraction strategies to encourage more people with disability to apply for jobs in the NSW public sector
- partner with organisations that work with people with disability to develop targeted attraction and recruitment action
- create a single point of contact for inclusion and accessibility support and advice
- apply accessible recruitment practices through all phases of the recruitment process.
The NSW Government is committed to an inclusive culture in the public sector.
This includes making sure managers and leaders have the skills and confidence to support staff with disability, encouraging people with disability to feel confident to ask for any support they need, and making sure workspaces are accessibly designed and fitted out.
- create a culture where people with disability feel confident and safe to identify as having a disability
- build the capacity of people with disability to promote their interests
- provide education and training to create ‘disability confident’ and accessible workplaces
- train and support managers so employees with disability can easily access the flexible work arrangements they need
- create a new sector-wide and streamlined adjustment service so employees with disability can quickly get the equipment and adjustments they need
- require providers of goods and services to the NSW Government to meet social inclusion standards.
The NSW Government is committed to increasing the representation of people with disability across all levels of Government.
This includes providing training and development for people with disability and identifying ambassadors with disability in all levels of Government.
- remove barriers to people with disability accessing the same training and development as their peers
- promote the professional experience of people with disability and senior role models
- adjust work and role design so more for people with disability can work and progress their careers in a wider range of roles
- create more accessible entry points and pathways at various levels for people with disability into the NSW public sector.
The NSW Government will continuously review progress of the Plan and adapt it to meet the needs of people with disability in NSW.
This includes consulting people with disability, leading disability employment organisations and staff across departments.
- drive innovation and leadership in the recruitment, retention and career development of people with disability
- promote good practice and evidence-based activities in Disability Inclusion Action Planning
- continue regular collection, monitoring and reporting of data to inform decisions and benchmark performance.
An implementation committee will be set up with members from all NSW public sector departments. The committee will identify areas of improvement, drive change and provide advice to public sector and Government leaders.
Here are some case studies we have collaborated of people with a disability, working in the public sector.
Work location: Port Stephens
Tom is an Administration Assistant and the Chairperson for the Work Health and Safety Committee for the Department of Primary Industries. He is an enthusiastic and committed Disability Employee Network member and is currently Studying Work Health and Safety at Hunter TAFE.
“Working for the NSW Government has been wonderful. It has given me the opportunity to interact with people in the workplace and the general public, and has given me a purpose. The introduction of this new plan will help give people with a disability an opportunity to work and be more inclusive in the community,” Mr Laing said.
Tom is an avid wheelchair basketball player and plays competitively each Saturday in Newcastle. Tom lives with Spinal Bifida.
Work location: Sydney CBD
Paul is Sydney 2000 Paralympic silver medallist, flew high as the Other Superman on Australia’s Got Talent and in 2016 was named a finalist for the Human Rights Medal.
Paul has worked across all levels of government providing advice on the National Disability Strategy, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and the Disability Inclusion Act.
Paul currently works for the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet as Director, Ministerial Operations and provides advice on the implementation of accessible and inclusive event planning to major and community government events across NSW.
“The NSW public sector employs a significant number of people across NSW. The Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector will provide a greater focus on extending that opportunity to people with disability to engage in the public sector.
I am very proud to work in the NSW public sector with so many other talented individuals and am thrilled that the introduction of this plan will improve the employment opportunities for others,” Mr Nunnari said.
Work location: Chatswood
Bronwyn has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Public Health. She has worked in disability for more than 30 years as a clinician, policy manager and service manager.
Bronwyn is currently employed by HealthShare NSW and eHealth NSW as their Disability Employment Leader. She is responsible for developing policy, training managers and staff, supporting staff and job applicants with disability, and promoting an inclusive and accessible workplace.
Bronwyn has lived experience of mental illness and was an advocate for her sister who had intellectual disability.
Work location: Sydney CBD
Sabrina has extensive experience providing advice around inclusion and access for people with disability within the public sector. Sabrina is a current member on the Australian Museum's Advisory Panel, the state government's Disability Employment Action Centre (DEAC) Advisory Sub-Group and the NSW Department of Industry’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) Steering Committee. Following years of private sector work, Sabrina joined the public sector in January 2017 as a Recruitment Specialist for the NSW Department of Industry.
Sabrina describes herself as a person with disability, a woman, and a non-practicing Muslim of Lebanese and Indian background. Sabrina was selected as a representative for I Work for NSW’s 2017 video stories, sharing her experiences and triumphs as a person working for the NSW Government with a severe hearing impairment.
Sabrina held the title of Miss World Australia in 2006 and placed third at Miss World, and has also placed fifth on the first Australian season of ‘The Apprentice’, using these opportunities to contribute to public discussions around diversity and inclusion in Australia.
“Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector is a deeply important, pioneering plan that aims for holistic inclusion across all types of disability and provides practical steps to achieve this. This plan is an admirable step towards making fairness at work a reality for people like me, who love what they do and are talented, and are as worthy of inclusion as any other.
As a proud NSW Government employee with a disability, I have seen the benefits of inclusion in my recruitment role. This ranges from promoting understanding and awareness amongst candidates and colleagues, to delivering a unique perspective in my work due to my disability,” Ms Houssami-Richardson said.
Work location: Central Coast
Andrew has been an employee with the Department of Family and Community Services – Ageing, Disability and Home Care since November 2012 as an Administration Assistant. He is now a Community Services Administration Support Officer for the Hunter New England & Central Coast District Executive Office.
Andrew is also a FACS Disability Employee Network member and is passionate about getting involved in projects to support the DEN and employees with disability more broadly.
Welcoming the new plan, Andrew said, “The new Jobs for People with a Disability Plan in the NSW Public Sector will increase the employment of people with a disability in any NSW Government organisation. This will help support and develop their skills and abilities. Inclusive hiring practices within the Public Sector will give employees with a disability the opportunity to gain more skills and will help support any needed workplace adjustments.”
What can you do?
Work with us
The NSW Government has a range of job opportunities available across various departments and agencies.
No matter what your skills or expertise, if you would like to make a difference in shaping our State’s future apply for a role in the NSW Public Sector.
Partner with us
The NSW Government is interested in hearing from you about new ways to achieve a diverse, inclusive workforce and to partner with the not-for-profit and private sectors.
If you have a new idea to increase the number of people with disability in the public sector, email email@example.com.