The Australian Government has launched the NDIS National Workforce Plan 2021-2025 as part an Australia-wide effort to deliver significant improvements to the NDIS.

It is set to benefit NDIS participants, workers, providers and the broader community, attract thousands of new workers and ensure more sustainable, flexible and high-quality services.

The Plan responds to the care and support sector being one of Australia’s largest and fastest growing Industries, and includes Aged Care and veteran services.

In a message from the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, she said the Plan will guarantee a strong and modern workforce for the future.

“Eighty-three thousand (83,000) NDIS workers are required by 2024 (31% increase) to meet 500,000 NDIS participants over the next four years. This will bring the total workforce to 350,000.” she said.

“This sector is one Australia’s fastest growing Industries, driven largely by the rollout of the NDIS. It’s growth presents meaningful opportunities for long term jobs, and (meaningful opportunities) for small businesses right across Australia.”

Department of Social Services and AlphaBeta predict by 2024 that around 500,000 participants will require support from almost 353,000 workers.

Today 450,000 NDIS participants receive support from over 11,600 active NDIS providers employing around 270,000 workers across 20 occupations.

The NDIS National Workforce Place lists four main themes listed in its Vision; they are 1) Support and retain existing workers 2) Grow the workforce 3) Maintain quality of participant supports delivered by workers and 4) Support sector efficiency and innovation.

Below is a summary of how the Plan is set to benefit participants, workers and providers:

Participants

  • Access to higher quality supports,
  • Improved service continuity,
  • A workforce that reflects the diversity of NDIS participants; including culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Increasing employment rate for work aged NDIS participants

Workers

  • Improved training
  • Access to professional development
  • Increased opportunities for workers to move across the Industry

Providers

  • Better regulation across the sector; opportunities to increase regulatory alignment for providers across the sector.
  • More market demand information to drive innovation and enable a flexible workforce to meet the needs of participants, particularly in rural and remote regions.

Initiatives delivered Australia-wide

The Minister said the experience of peak bodies, participants, carers and families will be drawn on to support the delivery of 16 initiatives and complementary actions across states and territories to meet growing workforce demand.

The main priorities for the initiatives are:

Priority 1: Improve community understanding of the benefits of working in the care and support sector and strengthen entry pathways for suitable workers to enter the sector

Priority 2: Train and support the NDIS workforce

Priority 3: Reduce red tape, facilitate new service models and innovation, and provide more market information about business opportunities in the care and support sector.

The Plan compliments and extends ongoing work that has taken place in the sector to bolster the NDIS as one of the largest reforms to have taken place in Australia in the past ten years, such as the Growing the NDIS Market and Workforce Strategy 2019 (DSS) and the NDIS Workforce Capability Framework.

It highlights national project and organisations that have been working to advance the NDIS workforce across Australia, including the Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) Pilot and Boosting the Local Care Workforce (BLCW) program.

In addition the Plan aligns with the Commonwealth’s Economic Recovery Plan for Australia, JobMaker and JobTrainer, as well as Vocational Education and Training (VET) reforms, as well as the Participant Employment Strategy 2019-2022, which targets a 30 per cent employment rate for working-age NDIS participants by June 2023.

To download or read the full NDIS National Workforce Plan visit NDIS National Workforce Plan: 2021-2025 | Department of Social Services, Australian Government (dss.gov.au)