Career Pathway Pilot - Australian Network on Disability

22 November 2023

The Australian Network on Disability, in partnership with the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and the Department of Social Services will today launch a new disability employment program aimed at increasing employment and improving career advancement opportunities for people with disability.

The Career Pathways Pilot 2023-2025 is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and will be run by Australian Network on Disability and BCA members Coles Group, Compass Group, Kmart & Target Australia, and Woolworths Group.

Following the Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra in 2022, Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth announced funding to develop the Career Pathways Pilot.

“Boosting disability employment shouldn’t just be about any job, it should provide pathways to career progression too, and we know that disability-inclusive businesses grow profits more than four times faster than their peers.

“This program will allow employers to support people with disability advance their careers and become future leaders, as well as build disability-inclusive workplace cultures and demonstrate safe and supportive working environments.”

Australian Network on Disability’s Head of Strategy Amber O’Shea said the program will increase and develop the career progression of employees with disability out of entry level roles and into leadership positions.

“There is an over-representation of people with disability in entry level roles and a lack of career advancement opportunities for people with disability into leadership roles, as well as a lack of representation of people with disability on company boards.

“The Career Pathways Pilot is entirely co-designed and led by people with disability and focuses on career progression which challenges middle managers’ and senior leaders’ preexisting biases and perceptions that people with disability are only suited to entry level roles.

“Through the 18-month pilot we will work with some of Australia’s leading employers to create opportunities that recognise the depth of experience and skills of people with disability that have been overlooked in the past,” Ms O’Shea said.

BCA chief executive Bran Black said the Business Council and its members are committed to helping ensure all Australians reach their full potential and share in the opportunities and prosperity of our nation.

“This initiative will lead to increased, sustainable, and measurable improvements in employment and career advancement outcomes for people with disability.

“We need a concerted effort to drive change from job design through to recruitment and move from entry level jobs to advanced and executive roles.

“If Australia moved into the top eight OECD countries for employing people with disability, we could see an additional $50 billion to Australia’s GDP by 2050.”

Employers and employees with disability will both benefit from the program which supports employees with disability while giving managers the skills and resources to recruit and retain talented people with disability.

Further information is available in the attached Media Pack and at



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