Opportunities for Victorians with disability
Victorians with disability want and deserve job opportunities—but too often they face barriers to accessing the labour market.
From social enterprises whose mission is to provide employment for people with disability, to big companies that are now realising the benefits of being an inclusive employer and purchaser, social procurement is changing lives for Victorians with disability and creating a more just and diverse labour market.
The case studies presented here show how small changes to government policy can drive big transformations in the lives of people with disability.
From 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 the Victorian Government spent:
- $5.57 million with 34 Australian Disability Enterprises or social enterprises led by a mission for people with disability. (Note: Figures for Australian Disability Enterprises and social enterprises led by a mission for people with disability are a subset of the total spend and engagement figures for social enterprises as included in Key Achievements for Opportunities for disadvantaged Victorians.)
- A further $4.98 million with 26 social enterprises that support people with disability,16 identified by the Map for Impact. (Note: Figures for social enterprises that support people with disability are a subset of the total spend and engagement figures for social enterprises as included in Key Achievements for opportunities for disadvantaged Victorians.)
Beyond direct engagement with Victorian Australian Disability Enterprises, the Victorian Government sought commitments through its supply chain to support Victorians with disability.
From 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, the following Social Procurement Framework commitments were included within 119 contracts with suppliers reported to the Victorian Management Centre17, of which:
- 12 contained commitments for the engagement of suppliers who are employers of Victorians with disability
- 8 contained commitments for the employment of Victorians with disability
- 7 contained commitments for expenditure with a Victorian Social Enterprise or Australian Disability Enterprise
- 5 contained commitments for the engagement of suppliers who are Victorian Social Enterprises or Australian Disability Enterprises.
(Note: As the Victorian Management Centre was fully implemented in April 2021, some contracts are still in delivery, and will not have outcomes to report on for this period. The achievements detailed may include achievements recorded against specific commitments as well as achievements outside of commitments.)
Case study - Connecting2Australia expands its work with Bass Coast Health
Connecting2Australia employs people with disability across 12 hubs and three retail op shops across Victoria. It provides a range of disability support services, such as behaviour support, daily living skills, school-leaver employment services and short-term accommodation.
Previously, Connecting2Australia had provided lawn mowing and gardening services at Bass Coast Health’s Wonthaggi Campus, but from September 2020 its contract includes vehicle cleaning services across Bass Coast Health sites.
This exciting growth demonstrates Bass Coast Health’s commitment to building an inclusive community and providing opportunities for local people with disability while ensuring Bass Coast Health has a safer, cleaner fleet of vehicles.
As a result of this work, 12 people with disability have gained meaningful, ongoing employment providing essential services across the Bass Coast region, and they have continued to operate throughout the pandemic in line with the Victorian Government’s guidelines.
The expanded contract has given Connecting2Australia staff the chance to work in new environments and demonstrate their skills to the local community.
The banter between the crew as they clean the Bass Coast Health fleet reflects one of the most important aspects of work: social connection. The team enjoy the interaction with other team members, to have a chat and a laugh while doing valuable work and providing a great outcome for Bass Coast Health and for themselves.
Bass Coast Health staff have been impressed with the cleanliness of their vehicles, and they have praised the great service the Connecting2Australia team provides.
'We value this contract as it provides opportunities for our Supported Employees to work in new environments and demonstrate their skills and abilities and connect with the local community. We have already received positive feedback from Bass Coast Health and this provides terrific motivation for our employees. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with Bass Coast Health.'
Case study - Vivid social enterprise provides services to Major Road Projects Victoria
Vivid, a local disability service provider based in Mildura, offers work crew assignments to . It provides mentored and supported employment services that give meaningful work to people living with a disability. The engagement, subcontracted through McConnell Dowell, includes site maintenance, office cleaning and carwash services across all project sites on the Echuca-Moama bridge project.
This has allowed Vivid to attract and retain a workforce from the local community.
In addition, McConnell Dowell has partnered with and Vivid to deliver formal training qualifications for 10 of the supported employees. This gave them valuable education and a pathway to future employment.
So far, three of the TAFE participants have gained permanent part-time jobs thanksto their increased confidence and capabilities.
The work on the project also allowed Vivid to expand its social enterprise model, as well as upgrade areas of its business that do not attract direct funding.
Reviewed 05 October 2022