ICT hub tackles older, disabled jobs access

IT Skills Hub, a non-profit employment organisation for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, has announced its new employment initiative aimed at improving access to ICT jobs for mature aged workers and people with disabilities.Chief executive officer of IT Skills Hub, Brian Donovan, predicts the project will benefit both the ICT industry as well as those who may be at a disadvantage in seeking employment.

IT Skills Hub, a non-profit employment organisation for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, has announced its new employment initiative aimed at improving access to ICT jobs for mature aged workers and people with disabilities.

Chief executive officer of IT Skills Hub, Brian Donovan, predicts the project will benefit both the ICT industry as well as those who may be at a disadvantage in seeking employment.

"The ICT industry is one industry where disability should be less of a barrier to getting a job," said Donovan, adding "employers which have adopted a more enlightened approach have reaped business advantages of employing people with a disability from an often untapped pool of talent."

Donovan says that collaboration between all the players in the ICT industry will be needed to achieve job access equity, including employers, employees and the Australian government.

"Recent research has shown that the ICT industry is the least active sector in proactively engaging mature aged people to the workforce," said Donovan, adding that the ICT sector could "improve its track record" by also employing more people with disabilities.

Donovan says it's "vital" that the ICT industry improve its employment record in these areas, as he says there may be an effect on the supply of skills in the workforce given the increasing average age of today's workers.

"By taking an employer-based approach to developing a model for engagement of both mature age people and people with a disability, we hope to address and break down some of the real and perceived barriers to employment. Through a pilot, we also aim to highlight areas of best practice within the ICT sector," Donovan said.

The company was formed through the Australian government and the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and is specifically designed for the promotion of ICT skills development in Australia.

Minster for Employment and Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews, says the project is designed to create new and sustainable ICT job opportunities for mature-aged workers and people with disabilities; development that can later be replicated across other lines of business.

"The main objective of this project is to create a supported and managed approach to the recruitment of disadvantaged job seekers that is attractive to both employers and job seekers," said Andrews.

The project will involve the formation of an employer working group that will design a draft model employment structure; the process will then involve selecting employees from job network and transition-to-work systems and placing them in a position of employment in accordance with the working party's design.