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Businesses encouraged to foster inclusive and diverse workplaces

Media release

Businesses and employers are being encouraged to hire people with disability and benefit from an inclusive and diverse workforce as part of a free seminar hosted by Curtin University and JobAccess.

The seminar, which included a keynote presentation delivered by Empire Barristers and Solicitors Director Prue Hawkins, raised awareness of organisations that have embraced diversity and offered advice on the range of support services provided by the Federal Government.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the seminar aimed to bring employers and support services together to discuss disability employment.

“With almost 50 per cent of people with disability who are of working age not in the labour force, Australian businesses have the opportunity to tap into a large skilled talent pool that will enhance the diversity of their workforce,” Professor Terry said.

“Curtin is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive and productive workplace for everyone and our staff and students with disability enrich our community and play an important role in the diversity that makes our university so unique.”

Curtin University Diversity and Equity (Disability) Senior Advisor Ms Erica Schurmann said the seminar provided an opportunity to share different perspectives and practical examples of effective ways to promote workplace diversity.

“The seminar is a call to action for employers and businesses to consider how to build inclusion in their own organisation and find out more about what resources are available to support them in their journey to becoming a disability confident organisation,” Ms Schurmann said.

“We want to ensure every organisation is ready, willing and able to employ people with disability, bringing a range of different skills, abilities and qualifications to their workplaces.”

JobAccess General Manager Daniel Valiente Riedl said employers had much ground to cover when it comes to bringing people with disability into the workforce.

“While research shows 77 per cent of organisations are open to hiring people with disability, two in five employers say it’s ‘a step into the unknown’. The fact is it doesn’t have to be, and JobAccess is here to help,” Mr Valiente Riedl said.

The interactive session, which featured a range of different speakers, included presentations, panel discussions and opportunities for networking.

JobAccess is the national hub for workplace and employment information for people with disability, employers and service providers, created by the Australian Government.

For more information about Job Access, visit here.