Victorian economic participation plan

13 March 2018

Recently, the Victorian Government released the Victorian economic participation plan for people with disability 2018-2020.
Included in the plan is the commitment to develop a Victorian public service employment action plan that will include the first ever disability employment target of 6% by 2020, increasing to 12% by 2025.
Vision Australia General Manager Advocacy and Engagement Karen Knight said she was pleased to see the Victorian Government focus on how to increase economic participation for people with disability.
"As one of the largest employers in Victoria, the Government is in a strong position to play a lead role in helping shift attitudes and drive positive change," Ms Knight said.
"We support organisations setting targets but I'm just hoping that this isn't just a token effort and the employment action plan sitting behind it, is solid and reported on.
"We've seen other public services across Australia set targets and not meet them so I'm cautiously optimistic about the Victorian target."
The Queensland public service has a disability employment target of 8% but in the last report released, the disability employment rate was only 3.2%. The Australian Public Service is also only sitting at an average 3.6%.
"What we'd really like to see is a solid effort put in by the VPS in meeting this target. Our goal is for people who are blind or have low vision to engage in meaningful employment and we would like disaggregated data by role held and disability cohort," she said.
Integral to achieving the new VPS disability employment target is mandating the Australian Standard AS EN 301 549, accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of information and communication technology products and services.
The Australian standard was adopted by the Australian public service in March 2017 but has not yet been mandated within any state public service, except NSW. 
"We believe true commitment to employing people with disability and creating inclusive work environments requires the enforcement of this public procurement standard across all states, including Victoria," Ms Knight said.