Bid for more workers with disability

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A scheme to increase the number of people with disability hired by the Australian Public Service (APS) has come into effect across the Service.

The Australian Public Service Commission's Group Manager, Employment Policy and Participation, Owen Livermore said RecruitAbility was a major initiative of the As One - Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy.

"The scheme aims to attract and develop applicants with disability and also facilitate cultural change in selection panels and Agency recruitment," Mr Livermore said.

He said that under the scheme, job applicants with disability who opt in and meet the minimum requirements of the job would be advanced to a further stage in the selection process (usually an interview).

"Merit remains the basis for engagement and promotion and no person will be displaced from a shortlist to make way for a person with disability applying under the scheme," Mr Livermore said.

He said a pilot of the scheme began in June 2013 with 15 APS Agencies participating.

APS adopts new selection process

"At its November 2014 meeting, the Diversity Council reviewed the outcomes of the pilot and agreed to the full implementation of the RecruitAbility scheme across the APS from 1 January," Mr Livermore said.

"RecruitAbility is available to all APS Agencies. It is not compulsory but all APS Agencies are encouraged to adopt the scheme."

Mr Livermore said people with disability were significantly under-represented in the APS. In addition, employees with disability within the APS experienced more limited career progression.

"RecruitAbility provides APS Agencies with the means to better support people with disability in APS selection processes without compromising the merit principle," he said.

"RecruitAbility may be applied to all APS vacancies, including SES roles. It is not intended for the scheme to be limited to jobs requiring knowledge or understanding of disability issues."

Further information about the RecruitAbility scheme, including guides for Agencies and job applicants, can be found at this PS News link.