Want a meaningful job? The disability sector is a great place to look

Posted on Feb 02, 2017 10:34 AM |

Want a meaningful job? The disability sector is a great place to look

Why not consider a job in the disability sector? Image: Gareth Williams/Flickr.

If you're considering a more meaningful job and aren’t sure where to start, there are thousands of opportunities in the disability sector – and not just the types of jobs you might immediately think of.

According to the National Disability Services' 2016 State of the Disability Sector report – which collates information about nearly 36,000 workers in the Australian disability sector – the number of jobs in the sector is growing steadily, with a number of professions in particularly high demand.

In fact, 70 percent of organisations working in disability reported an increased demand for their services last year – with 75 percent expecting that demand to grow. And that's great news if you're looking for a meaningful job that has a direct impact on people's lives.

Disability jobs in high demand

The report cites data from NDS' 2016 Business Confidence Survey, which found that speech pathologists and occupational therapists were in the highest demand of all professions in the sector.

In fact, over half of all disability organisations that sought to employ staff into these positions last year found them either 'extremely difficult' or 'moderately difficult' to recruit.

Disability organisations also had trouble recruiting a variety of service delivery roles such as disability support workers, psychologists and other types of allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists or dieticians.

But demand also exceeded supply for more office based roles such as managers/supervisors, marketing professionals and business development professionals.

So where are the future jobs?

The report breaks down the recruitment intentions of tens of thousands of disability organisations – with very clear insights into where the disability jobs lie.

The most in-demand? 'Other' allied health roles, with 52 percent of organisations stating their intention to recruit in this area. This would include professions like social workers, audiologists, art and music therapists, prosthetists and more.

Next in demand are managers and supervisors, with 43 percent of disability organisations intending to recruit for these positions this year.

The report also confirms that the following jobs are also a great place to look for work, with around 20 percent of organisations expecting to recruit in these areas:

The casual flipside

While there’s certainly no shortage of work to be done, there’s a widespread fear in the sector about the growing casualisation of the workforce.

Those fears aren't entirely unfounded, with the report confirming that jobs in the disability sector are less likely to offer a living wage or job security than the wider Australian labour force.

And because one of the key objectives of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is to provide clients with flexibility, many employers are finding that employing staff on a casual basis is the only financially viable option.

The good news? The rate of casual employment in the disability workforce has remained steady at around 38 percent, so there are still plenty of full-time, well-paid roles to be found.

So, if you'd like a meaningful new job, why not consider the disability sector – there are likely lots more possibilities than you think!

Do you work in the disability sector or are you wanting to? What do you make of these findings? Please let us know in the comments below.

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