The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is one of the largest social policy reforms in Australia’s history. Last Wednesday, the NSW and Commonwealth Governments signed an agreement which will deliver certainty to the around 140,000 people with disability in NSW. This agreement will ensure people with disability in the states have access to support they need to live life to the fullest.
The NDIS agreement is about empowering those with a disability in our community, by providing better services and improving quality of life. Extra support will be accessible via an increased investment in carers and welfare workers, allowing for a greater choice in services and higher quality outcomes. Over the past four years, the number of students studying to be carers and welfare workers in NSW has increased by 38% and 33%, respectively.
There will be an additional 2,000 training places to specialise in the areas of Disability, Community Services, Auslan and Aged Care. The complete rollout of the NDIS will require an additional 25,000 workers, and this investment will increase opportunities for students to learn new skills in health and community services, and provide a clear pathway to secure a job that will start their career in a sector of high demand.
In 2016, all students with a disability will be eligible for free vocational education and training courses on the NSW Skills List, regardless of whether it is a first or subsequent qualification. These adjustments will increase the accessibility of courses for those with a disability, and reduce the red tape for trainers who may already be offering this kind of approach.