Overshadowed by media attention to the release of the Gonski Report yesterday, Kate Ellis, Minister for Employment Participation, announced the opening of a tender process intended to "strengthen employment services for job seekers with disability":
Delivering the best possible employment services for Australians with disability
In the 2011-12 Budget the Australian Government announced unprecedented investment in these services and confirmed a competitive tender process for Disability Employment Services-Employment Support Service would be undertaken.
Putting Disability Employment Services out to tender is an open and transparent way of ensuring that the best possible providers are delivering the most effective services to job seekers with disability.
The highest performing providers, those who are operating at a 4 or 5 star level, will be retained with contract extensions but will also be given the opportunity to expand and assist more job seekers in new areas.
The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations and other disability consumer organisations have supported the Government's approach.
The exposure Draft released for public comment today details the arrangements and information on the transition to the new contract in March next year.
The consultations sessions will take place in state capitals and some regional centres from 27 February through to 7 March.
The Employment Support Service is designed to provide immediate access to tailored services for job seekers with disability to help them secure suitable employment.
"We want to give employment service providers new tools, new supports and new ways to assist people with disability to find work and to deliver the best possible employment services for job seekers with a disability," Ms Ellis said.
For information on dates and locations for the consultation sessions from the Exposure Draft visit www.deewr.gov.au/esprocurement or call the Employment Services Purchasing Hotline on 1300 733 514.
Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on the Exposure Draft by 5pm (AEDT) Tuesday, 20 March 2012 by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: extracted from Minister's media release, 20th February 2012