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What support is on hand for apprentices and trainees with disability?

If you have a disability and you're pursuing an Australian Apprenticeship you may be able to take advantage of support initiatives from the government.

In order to reach your full potential, it can be vital to receive just that extra bit of apprentice support, especially if you have a disability.

The Australian government has acknowledged the contribution people with disabilities make to workplaces, providing additional support to Australian Apprentices with disability to help them get the best out of training as skilled workers.

There are several initiatives available to help provide support for apprentices and trainees with disability, as well as their employees, under the Australian Incentives Program.

Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support

The Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS) is a federal government incentive that is paid to an employer who takes on an Australian Apprentice that satisfies the disability eligibility criteria.

This wage support can also be provided to employers with an Australian Apprentice who becomes disabled during their traineeship or apprenticeship.

Tutorial, interpreter and mentor services

Australian Apprentices that have been deemed eligible for DAAWS and require extra assistance with off-the-job training are able to make use of tutorial, interpreter and mentor services.

“This form of assistance is payable only to the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in respect of an Australian Apprentice eligible for DAAWS where the Australian Apprentice is experiencing difficulty with the off-the-job training component of their Australian Apprenticeship because of that disability,” Australian Apprenticeships states.

Employment Assistance Fund

The Employment Assistance Fund is available to people with disability and mental health conditions, providing financial help to purchase a range of work-related services and modifications.

This assistance aims to support Australian Apprentices with disability “reach their full potential” as a skilled worker, ensuring that they are not excluded from participation in the program.

The fund may help reimburse the cost of work-related services and modifications such as Auslan interpreting, information and communication devices, modifications to work vehicles, modifications to the physical work environment, adaptive equipment for the workplace, mental health, disability and deafness awareness training, and specialist services for employees with specific learning disorders and mental health conditions.

Reimbursement of Auslan interpreting for a job interview may also be provided to recruitment agencies.

The Employment Assistance Fund, however, doesn’t reimburse the cost of medical, therapeutic or fitness items or treatments, or the cost of repairs or maintenance of work equipment.

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