Employment was a crucial part of the attempts to create a truly accessible community for people with disabilities, Disability Services Minister Paul Omodei said today.
“We all want to make a contribution and we all need to occupy our time in constructive ways, and this is no less true for people with disabilities,” Mr Omodei said.
“Employment offers these people the opportunity to develop their skills, increase their sense of personal worth and make a contribution to the community which so often supports them.”
The Minister made his remarks when presenting a Lotteries Commission cheque for $74,418 to enable Workpower Incorporated to furnish and equip its new premises in Leeway Court, Osborne Park.
Workpower provides employment for 230 people with disabilities and support for another 30 people with disabilities who are in the open employment market.
“The role played by Workpower and other employment agencies is crucial to our efforts to advance community participation for people with disabilities,” Mr Omodei said.
Originally a part of the Authority for Intellectually Handicapped Persons, which became the Disability Services Commission in 1993, Workpower was established as an independent non-Government organisation in 1992.
Since then, it had successfully responded to many changes, including the Commonwealth’s recent disability employment reforms.
It was a Registered Training Organisation with the Training Accreditation Council of WA and its business excellence had been recognised by the Australian Quality Council last year.
Mr Omodei said Workpower retained close contacts with the DSC and most of its employees were residents of commission-provided accommodation services. The two organisations had recently established a joint working party to improve cross-agency liaison and planning.
The Minister said that the $74,000 contribution from the Lotteries Commission would enable Workpower to improve its facilities and efficiency in support of people who deserved meaningful employment.
Media contact: Hugh Ryan 9213 6700