Enabled Employment, based in Canberra has launched offering employers the chance to tap into a huge talent pool of Australians living with a disability. The recruitment organisation will use telework technology to remove barriers for those who want to work. The company is privately funded and is already sourcing employees for clients including the Department of Health, the ACT Department of Health, and Disability ACT, Veritec and Aspen Medical.
“We have many highly qualified people with disabilities who want to work online and from home”, said founder and chief executive officer, Jessica May. “We use technology to match people with disabilities with employers seeking skilled workers or professional services.”
The idea came from Jessica’s own experiences as a worker with a disability. In 2011, Jess suffered with anxiety after the birth of her first child, and was diagnosed with panic disorder. She wanted to return to her full-time job, but was terrified of going into the workplace. Jess knew that working would help her anxiety, but despite being highly commended and a skilled worker, she could not find work which she could do from home.
Ms May said most people with disability have sought-after skills and experience but face barriers that stop them working in a conventional workplace. These barriers can be both physical, and social.
“Our one-stop-shop lets them browse for jobs they can do remotely by telework and covers everything from early job hunting to getting paid,” she says. “Australia has among the lowest disability employment participation rates in the OECD and we intend to change that.”
The site already has already registered 150 jobseekers and 23 employers, with 13 people already placed in jobs. Disability Minister Joy Burch said teleworking was a great option for people who may not be able to physically get into an office but have professional skills to contribute: "With one in five Australians experiencing disability, this is a great opportunity for employers to embrace alternative recruitment practices to tap into this skilled and available workforce,” she commented.
Enabled Employment started under the Griffin Accelerator Programme in July and has already received widespread support. It plans to expand into overseas markets soon.