Queensland’s northern communities are expected to benefit from thousands of new jobs as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rollout picks up momentum.
According to the Palaszczuk government, the NDIS will generate 13,000 jobs in Queensland, with opportunities created across the state’s disability sector. One location set to take advantage of these changes is Townsville, with Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke revealing that the NDIS has already launched services for users aged under 18 years old.
“Once fully operational, the scheme will support more than 4,800 people with disability in Townsville and extending in other areas of North Queensland – creating a powerful new consumer group and a red-hot-marketplace for service providers in our city and beyond,” Ms O’Rourke stated.
“This unprecedented growth and, consequently, major employment boost will provide great opportunities for those who are looking for work or for a career change.”
In October, the Queensland government announced that it was providing $1.6 million of funding for disability housing in North Queensland as part of the NDIS. Cairns and Townsville are receiving $800,000 each for the construction, purchase and modification of properties for disabled people and their carers.
Building work on these new housing projects could provide a boost for trades-based apprenticeships in Queensland. In addition, the thousands of new roles being created in the disability sector overall may also build careers for people pursuing vocational education and training.
Preparing for jobs growth
Ms O’Rourke admitted the NDIS is a huge overhaul of the current system, and a concerted effort is needed to prepare the workforce for the future. The Queensland NDIS Workforce Strategy has been implemented to complete this task.
She claimed the strategy would provide a skills and knowledge support framework for those involved in the NDIS. This includes a focus on strengthening current staff and building a talent pipeline for the future.
“We will be looking for support workers, allied health professionals, administration personnel, marketing and business experts – the possibilities are endless,” Ms O’Rourke explained.
The official website for the NDIS announced earlier this month (January 20) that 2016 would be a big year for the scheme. Nearly two-thirds of the people set to use the healthcare program now know when it will reach them.
Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT have been given dates for the rollout, although Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia are awaiting confirmation.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator