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The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is bringing unprecedented demand for disability workers along with a shift in the kinds of knowledge, skills and attitudes required to support people with disability to live a ‘good life’.
New workers will need hands-on experience with participants to develop excellent interpersonal skills and cultural competency, to implement a person-centred and strengths-based approach. They also need learning time ‘off-the-job’ to develop a solid
understanding of issues such as the purposes and processes of the NDIS and safety and risk factors to consider. Traineeships lend themselves well to this complementary approach.
Traineeships enable people to gain a nationally recognised qualification by combining employment and training and to get paid while learning new skills. Job outcomes from traineeships and apprenticeships across all industries are strong, with 83 per cent of
apprentices and trainees employed six months after training (compared to 77 per cent for other VET graduates).1 Employers also benefit by having an opportunity to train a person within the work environment where their skills will be put to use. Employers may also be eligible for subsidies, which makes employing a trainee more attractive.
Despite the value of the pathway amongst industries more broadly, there is little utilisation of traineeships within the disability sector and there is little industry-specific research on the reasons for this.