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Key NDIS skills development strategy launches

The Queensland government has unveiled a new skills development strategy for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in an effort to prepare an appropriate talent pipeline for upcoming employment opportunities.

Nearly 14,000 jobs in Queensland are set to become available once the NDIS rolls out, which is why the state government launched the NDIS NGO Workforce Strategy on Tuesday. Titled WorkAbility Queensland: Building tomorrow’s NDIS workforce, the proposal aims to strengthen prospective employees’ skills sets.

Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke announced the plan at Parliament House in Brisbane, highlighting the importance of having qualified people in place before the NDIS is fully integrated in 2019.

“The Palaszczuk government invested more than $1 million towards the implementation of the NDIS NGO Workforce Strategy, which is operational in the Townsville region and will be rolled out across the state over three years,” she stated.

“The NDIS NGO Workforce Strategy is an important step towards ensuring Queensland’s workforce is ready for the significant job opportunities the NDIS will create.”

She said key industry organisations helped develop the framework, which will focus on delivering quick access to training and building community networks. A State Advisory Group has also been set up to provide advice on how best to implement the strategy.

The NDIS in Queensland

Townsville, Palm Island and Charters Towers are the three early transition sites for the NDIS in Queensland. Approximately 1,600 people in these areas will receive funding packages as part of the initiative, which began in January 2016.

National Disability Services Queensland State Manager Richard Nelson said approximately 90,000 people would receive disability support in the state once the NDIS is fully operational.

With almost 14,000 jobs on the cards, apprentices and trainees in Queensland may feel there could be various vacancies available in the near future. Ms O’Rourke, speaking last year, said the sector will provide “endless” opportunities for Queenslanders.

Meanwhile, CEO of the Health and Community Services Workforce Council Doug Evans welcomed the newly launched NDIS strategy’s focus on skills development.

“The aim of [the] strategy is to supply service providers, who are responding to the growth in demand created by the NDIS, with a strong and skilled workforce,” he explained.

Mr Evans noted the community element of the plan would ensure long-term sustainability, while also providing a flexible and capable talent pool of candidates that can respond to growth when necessary.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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