With more than 1.5 million people on JobSeeker, people with disabilities are facing an even harder challenge to secure employment in the open market. Before the COVID-19 pandemic only 53.4% of people with disability were employed, compared with 84.1% of people without disability. The median gross income for a person with disability was about half of the $1,016 per week gross income for a person without disability.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has opened an open, competitive grant opportunity for organisations who would like to make an impact on employment for people with disability, particularly in the light of COVID 19. The Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) – Economic Participation Grant offers a total of $39.9 million available for one year. Grants can range from $250,000 (GST excl.) to $1.2 million (GST excl.) and will be available from 10 June 2021 to 9 June 2022. Applications will close on the 8 December 11 pm AEDT.

DSS are seeking applications from organisations who would like to improve the economic participation of people with disability, particularly people from rural and remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin, from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds or young people with disability who find it difficult to enter the workforce.

The grant program aims to address a number of challenges and opportunities faced by people with disabilities:

  • People with disabilities have improved job readiness, employment related skills and knowledge
  • People with disabilities have greater access to employer groups and employment support networks
  • Employers and organisations have increased willingness and capability to employ people with disabilities.

Examples for eligible grant activities are:

  • Support for improved job readiness, employment related skills and knowledge. These can be sector or industry specific or more general skills.
  • Activities can support people with disability to access job opportunities that have arisen due to the way services are delivered because of COVID-19.
  • Increasing the access of people with disability to employer groups and employment support networks
  • Increasing the willingness and capability of employers and organisations to employ people with disabilities.

It is expected all activities will be developed and delivered in collaboration with people with disability and people with disability will be employed in the delivery of these activities.

In the application grant seekers need to describe the proposed activities and identify two or more of the economic participation outcomes (as listed above) they are seeking to address. Applicants need to describe how the proposed activity will support one of the priority groups or justify why the grant will not support one of the priority cohorts. The application needs to provide evidence that the organisation will be able to engage effectively and support the needs of this group.  The applicant is required to describe the organisation and provide evidence of their ability to deliver the proposed activities. Eligible entities that can apply for this grant are companies, cooperatives, corporate state or territory entities, incorporated associations, indigenous corporations and local government. The application also needs to outline how the organisation will ensure the quality and effective reporting of the project and will evaluate the success of the activities.

In 2019 CBB ran an ILC Ready program for not for profits in South Australia and we supported several successful ILC grant applications. The program is now closed however you can access free ILC resources and the recordings of program webinars here.