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Our free Disability Inclusive Employment Program places local people with disability into meaningful employment opportunities.

We deliver the program in partnership with Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH), an organisation based in Boroondara with over 100 years of experience supporting people with disability. The program is also supported by Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre, Alamein Neighbourhood and Learning Centre and CVGT Employment.

About the program

What businesses must provide

Businesses that join the program must offer at least one meaningful employment opportunity to a person with disability based on their skills and interests. 'Meaningful employment' includes factors like the job being:

  • a source of economic independence
  • ongoing or with a significant prospect of becoming ongoing
  • fulfilling
  • inclusive.

What we provide

We'll provide you with support before the employment placement begins and while the employee with disability is employed. This includes support to get workforce subsidies, implement workplace adjustments and develop customised employment opportunities which meet the needs of the business.

You'll be invited to take part in a local community of practice to share information, experiences and connections. 

The organisations we partner with to deliver the program have extensive experience in supporting businesses to recruit and retain people with disability. VMCH will provide one-on-one support. Their social enterprise Jobs Skills program is an award-winning success, having recently won the 2022 Victorian State Government Award for Excellence in Employment Outcomes category.

Supporting employees

Before they begin work, we'll train prospective employees about:

  • employer expectations and work conditions (such as working in a team and punctuality)
  • occupational health and safety
  • navigating a workplace environment.

Once employed, staff will be supported on the job by a VMCH mentor to ensure they know and can deliver what's expected.

The mentor will work alongside the new employee until they can work independently. Ongoing support will be provided through regular check-ins with management and the employee.

Program benefits

The benefits for businesses participating in our free program include:

  • connecting with motivated and job-ready staff
  • developing the confidence and capability to recruit a diverse workforce, including people with disability
  • accessing expertise and resources to support them to become more inclusive and accessible for people with disability
  • receiving training and support to identify appropriate employment opportunities within the business
  • receiving ongoing training and support to recruit, onboard and retain employees with disability.

The ongoing benefits of employing people with disability include:

  • disability-inclusive businesses grow profits more than four times faster than their peers
  • workers with disability have higher rates of retention, better attendance and fewer occupational health and safety incidents than those without disability
  • people with disability have a positive work attitude and work ethos, and hiring people with disability can boost productivity and morale in the workplace.

Disability confidence training

Businesses can also access customised disability confidence training to build employer confidence in employing and working with people with disability. By being confident about supporting people with disability, you and your team can help your business thrive. 

Businesses can receive disability confidence training without employing someone through the Program.

These education sessions cater to the needs of your business and provide participants with an understanding of:

  • disability types and associated access requirements of people with disability
  • key disability legislation and government bodies
  • how the disability movement has evolved over the years
  • everyday barriers experienced by people with disability
  • creating accessible and inclusive practices within the workplace
  • disclosing a disability to an employer
  • inclusive language and communication in the workplace
  • best practice for inclusive recruitment.

Read what James had to say about his experience taking disability confidence training:

'Key members of our team undertook the Disability Confidence Workshop in February 2024. We found the training to be immensely helpful, informative and enjoyable. After this training session we are moving with eagerness and assurance towards a more inclusive workplace. We are grateful to Brighdie, VMCH and Boroondara Council for providing this workshop to our team.'

James Lucas, Lucas House and Garden

How to apply

As a business, you can apply for this program by filling in our application form.

Apply as a business

If you are a person with disability who is looking for employment, you can find support on the Job Access Website.

More information

Email us at [email protected] or call (03) 9278 4444.

This program aligns with our goals in the Boroondara Community Plan 2021–31 which you can find on our Boroondara Community Plan 2021–2031 page.

It also aligns with the Boroondara Disability Access and Inclusion Plan and Economic Development Strategy, which you can find on our Policies, plans and strategies page.

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