Outcome 4: Employment and financial security

What success looks like

“I can see an attractive training or employment pathway for myself when I leave school.”

“As an employer, I see the benefits to my business, and am confident in employing people with disability.”

– Consultation participants

Why this is important

Education, training, and economic participation (including employment, volunteering, work experience, learning new skills, and parenting or caring) are important ingredients of autonomy and social inclusion.

Education is the foundation for individuals to improve their own economic position, contribute to society, and for informed participation in social life.

Students with disability advance when they are in an inclusive education setting that helps them to learn and grow, where possible in an integrated setting alongside their peers.

However, Australians with disability have:

  • reduced access to education due to enrolment barriers
  • limited opportunities for development
  • a lack of reasonable adjustments
  • low expectations.22

The move from school to employment is a critical transition and it is an uncertain time for most young people.

People with disability, their families and carers told us that they are worried about the lack of opportunities available to their children after school.

There needs to be more support in the Territory to help students work out their next steps after school and help them realise their ambitions.

The barriers for people living with disability finding employment are currently under the spotlight through the Disability Royal Commission.

People with disability in the workforce receive less than half the income of their peers without disability, are twice as likely to be unemployed as their peers,23 and 45% of people with disability live at near or below the poverty line.24

The private sector can play an important role alongside the public sector and people with disability to create exciting new training and employment opportunities.

Support for employers to help them be disability confident is essential to increase the employment of people with disability.

Our priorities and the action plan

Each outcome has a set of priorities for the life of the strategy.

Under each priority is an action plan.

Read more about the action plan.

People with disability have access to inclusive schools, training and education settings that meet their lifelong learning needs.

4.1.1 Implement the Department of Education’s Framework for Inclusion

Create an environment in NT Government schools which is inclusive, fair and focused on delivering learning to meet individual needs by implementing the Framework for Inclusion.

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: Ongoing

Develop and implement reflection tools and processes, including an inclusion self reflection tool, to support schools to become more inclusive through their improvement planning.1

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: From 2022

4.1.2 Strengthen systems for early support for students with disability

Strengthen systems for early and timely support for children and students with disability and diverse needs.

Provide wraparound support to ensure all children with additional needs have the opportunity to engage, grow and achieve in their first years of education.

Develop and implement a mental health and wellbeing framework.

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: Ongoing

4.1.3 Support the transition of students into secondary schooling

Develop and promote public information for students and families of students with disability to support transitions, including new national information products developed through the Australian Government’s 2020 Review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: From 2022

4.1.4 Support educators in providing inclusive learning environments1

Develop and implement professional learning resources to support educators in providing inclusive learning environments.

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: From 2022

Investigate and implement methods to improve inclusive teaching practice through tertiary studies at the vocational education and training, and university levels.

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: From 2022

Provide training on disability standards for education to Charles Darwin University staff.

Lead: Charles Darwin University

Timing: From 2022

4.1.5 Monitor performance against National Quality Standards for Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority1

Monitor services’ performance against the ‘National Quality Standard: Element 6.1.3 Families are supported’ to identify trends to indicate any future strategies, actions or professional development needs.

Monitor regulated services’ (under the National Quality Framework) performance against National Quality Standard: Element 6.2.3 Community engagement – the service builds relationships and engages with its community. Data from monitoring is used to identify service needs.

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: From 2022

4.1.6 Engage families of students with additional needs1

Develop and implement initiatives to engage families of students with additional needs, including:

  • establish advisory groups including parents, students and key stakeholders
  • provide support materials for educators to better enable them to establish welcoming, safe and inclusive environments for students and families from a range of cultural backgrounds;
  • promote examples of best practice inclusion in the NT, including family voice, from a range of settings.

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: From 2022

4.1.7 Reduce and eliminate the use of restrictive practices in all government service systems1

Reduce restrictive practices in schools by:

  • developing and implementing policy, guidelines, resources and training to reduce restrictive practices in schools
  • developing systems to monitor and reflect on restrictive practices in schools, and ensure they are only used in emergencies and as an agreed part of a students’ adjustment plan.

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: From 2022

People with disability leave school with a clear training, employment or other pathway to realise their ambitions.

4.2.1 Support students with disability leaving school

Follow and support the transition of students into further education, employment or training, in partnership with local communities, industry, government and non-government organisations, including by partnering with community or other groups to support students with disability transitioning from year 12 into further education or employment.

Improve transitional support for children and students with disability, including transition out of schooling, in partnership with community organisations and industry.1

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: Ongoing

4.2.2 More opportunities and information for students at schools

Promote opportunities for local high school students to undertake paid work experience for a term of the school year at Katherine Town Council.

Lead: Katherine Town Council

Timing: Ongoing

Promote the availability of Northern Territory Public Service  (NTPS) traineeships for NT school-leavers with disability.

Lead: Office of Commissioner for Public Employment

Timing: 2022

Focus on promoting employment opportunities available across the region for students with disability within all the local schools.

Lead: Roper Gulf Regional Council

Timing: Ongoing

4.2.3 Facilitate a sector wide Disability Employment Program (DEP)1

Facilitate and promote a sector wide DEP comprised of wage reimbursements and employment supports for:

  • Entry level, temporary roles for people with disability who cannot compete for public sector roles on the basis of merit.
  • NTPS traineeships and graduate roles for people with disability.

Lead: Office of Commissioner for Public Employment

Timing: Ongoing

4.2.4 Promote NTPS traineeships1

Promoted NTPS Disability Employment Program traineeship opportunities directly to NT school-leavers with disability.

NTPS Graduate trainee opportunities promoted and marketed directly to Charles Darwin University students.

Promotion of programs to NT school-leavers and university graduates with disability.

Lead: Office of Commissioner for Public Employment

Timing: Ongoing

4.2.5 Modified NT Certificate of Education and Training1

Support students to complete the NT Certificate of Education and Training through modified subjects offered to students who are eligible on the grounds of a documented or imputed disability.

Lead: Department of Education

Timing: From 2022

4.2.6 Indigenous Employment Initiative (IEI)

Support local people with disability to engage in the IEI, including key stakeholders to support the dissemination of information to the community.

Lead: Roper Gulf Regional Council

Timing: From 2022

More people with disability have secure, long term and meaningful employment.

Employers, policymakers, and people with disability collaborate to generate employment for people with disability and value for their employers.

4.3.1 Increase disability employment in the Northern Territory Public Sector

Implement a special measures in recruitment pilot program for people with disability for vacancies that are mid-senior level mainstream roles.1

Promote the availability of NTPS vocational and graduate traineeships for people with disability.

Continue to use the Champions of Inclusion to promote the employment of people with disability.

Continue to support and seek the advice of the Disability Reference Group as supported by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment to identify opportunities to increase employment of people with disability.1

Lead: Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment; Department of Corporate and Digital Development

Timing: From 2023

4.3.2 Support disability action plan implementation in the Northern Territory Public Sector

As part of the EmployAbility Strategy, support NTPS agencies to implement their disability action plans, including:

  • monitoring the experience of people with disability through the People Matter Survey
  • addressing challenges and barriers faced by employees with disability.

Lead: Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment

Timing: From 2023

Monitor implementation of NTPS agency disability action plans, aligned to the NTPS EmployAbility Strategy.1

Lead: Department of Corporate and Digital Development

Timing: Ongoing

4.3.3 Implement and evaluate the NT Public Sector EmployAbility Strategy 2018-2022

Continue implementation of the NTPS EmployAbility Strategy 2018-2022.1

Lead: Office of Commissioner for Public Employment

Timing: Ongoing

Evaluate the NTPS EmployAbility Strategy 2018-2022 and develop its next iteration.

Lead: Office of Commissioner for Public Employment

Timing: From 2023

4.3.4 Maximising opportunities

Maximise opportunities for community members, including people with disability, to access training opportunities, receive on the job support and mentoring.

Lead: Roper Gulf Regional Council

Timing: Ongoing

Employers understand the value of prospective employees with disability, and are not hesitant to hire them and make reasonable adjustments where needed.

4.4.1 Implement NTPS employee disability confidence training

Include disability confidence and unconscious bias training on the essential training list and manage and report on the agency uptake and progress of the program.

Lead: Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment; Department of Corporate and Digital Development

Timing: From 2022

Implement and promote inclusion and diversity initiatives across the NTPS, including access to online and in-person training, webinars and events.1

Deliver access to training opportunities, receive on the job support and mentoring.

Lead: Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment; Department of Corporate and Digital Development

Timing: Ongoing

4.4.2 Reward inclusive employers

Recognise and reward mainstream services that are inclusive, support people with disabilities, and provide role modelling for other organisations.

Continue to sponsor an employment category in the NT Disability Services Awards.

Lead: Office of Commissioner for Public Employment; Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities; Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet; Chamber of Commerce

Timing: Ongoing

4.4.3 Add information to the new information hub to help employers and employees

Add information to an information hub connecting employers to information about employing people with disability, including people rights and obligations.

Lead: Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities

Timing: Ongoing

4.4.4 Promote the NTPS as an exemplar employer1

Promote the NTPS as an exemplar employer through ongoing awareness raising, training and upskilling of NTPS employees and leaders regarding unconscious bias, disability confident workplaces, Hands up for Inclusion resource and inclusive work practices.

Lead: Office of Commissioner for Public Employment

Timing: Ongoing

4.4.5 Sponsor major events and awards that celebrate inclusion and achievements of people with disability1

Provide a contribution from NTPS to:

  • National Disability Services (NDS) annual NT Disability and Inclusion Awards.
  • The Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards.

Lead: Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities

Timing: Ongoing

“I see the need for more schools that can cater for students living with disabilities.”

“[My life would be better if] people actually saw what an asset I am, despite the chair, or even with the chair, they would find me a valuable worker.”

“There needs to be a stronger focus on the rights of employees with disability and the obligations of employers.”

– Consultation participants

Read outcome 5.

References and notes

1 The NT Government’s actions under the Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021 – 2031, Targeted Action Plans

22 Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, Interim Report, page 394 (October 2020)

23 Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, Employment Issues paper, page 3 (May 2020)

24 Price Waterhouse Coopers, Disability expectations – Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia (2011)


Last updated: 29 September 2022

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