Building employer confidence and capability in the tourism industry

14 July 2023

On 3 June 2023, the Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth and the Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell announced the Government’s continued commitment to boosting employment opportunities for people with disability, focusing on jobs in the tourism sector.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the tourism sector to lose nearly 200,000 jobs in two years. The sector is still recovering, and workers are needed to fuel recovery. At the same time, people with disability remain under-employed in Australia.

The THRIVE 2030 strategy, action 3.3, calls for efforts to increase the tourism industry’s recruitment and retention of workers with disability.

The Tourism Local Navigators Pilot will soon start, bringing a new place-based approach to assisting tourism-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with disability employment, including recruiting, retaining and promoting employees with disability.

The Pilot will hire local tourism navigators in targeted regions across the country to provide advice and connections to SMEs, helping them to connect with local employment service providers as well as JobAccess resources.

Additionally, navigators will help to reform workplace cultures and employment practices, and help build the confidence of employers to employ people with disability.

The Pilot will run from July 2023 to July 2024.

“This means bridging the gap between businesses and jobseekers and giving more people the chance to secure meaningful employment in a diverse and dynamic sector.” – Minister Farrell

”This Pilot will help to build inclusive, informed workplaces across the visitor economy and will help to ensure that jobseekers with a disability are not being left behind.” – Minister Rishworth

Read the Ministerial announcement.

  • Perth: Hospitality Disability Network WA Inc will connect at least 30 tourism and hospitality employers in and around Perth with resources and practical supports to build their capacity to sustainably employ people with disability.
  • Illawarra: The Disability Trust will work with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations to break down employment barriers along the South Coast.
  • Adelaide South: SYC Ltd will pilot a tailored brokerage model, using business readiness assessments to guide its navigators in building local capacity and support for disability employment.
  • Adelaide South: JFA Purple Orange will train and coach businesses and produce a toolkit for employers with the aim of addressing key labour shortages in the region.
  • Cairns: Epic Employment Service Inc will deliver the ‘Tourism Taster’ project, offering employers first-hand experience of the value people with disability can bring to their business as well as offering people with disability experience with a variety of workplace settings.
  • Moreton Bay North: On-Q Human Resources Limited will provide 100 small tourism operators in the Moreton Bay area with workforce planning services, diversity in recruitment training, strategies to recruit and retain the right people with disability, and locally targeted business resource packs.
  • Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane North and Brisbane Inner City: HELP Enterprises Limited will deliver the Helping Hands 4 Tourism program, providing tailored toolkits to local businesses.
  • Sydney Outer West and Blue Mountains: Project Etico Australia Limited will deliver the ‘Blue Mountains Tourism Disability Inclusion Project’, including the delivery of interactive workshops, individualised support, coaching, peer support and disability-led capacity building activities for employers.
  • Sydney: Blacktown, City and Inner South, Eastern Suburbs, Inner South West, Inner West and South West: Disability Services Australia Limited will roll out a program focused on education and the reform of workplace culture.
  • Melbourne: North-East: Eastern Volunteers will build on their experience providing inclusion training to outreach to potential employees, connect them with local training courses, and provide them with practical skills through volunteering.
  • Latrobe Gippsland: Management Governance Australia Pty Ltd will run local forums across rural and remote communities in Gippsland to engage local businesses and disability services providers.
  • Latrobe Gippsland: Interact Australia (Victoria) Limited will co-design training programs with local employers and DES providers, as well as mentoring for both employer and employee, to provide the Gippland tourism industry with top-quality talent.

Updates on progress of the pilots will be added here when available.

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