New disability workforce register designed to fill winter support worker shortages

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As winter starts to bite, qualified disability support workers are being asked to join a national ‘Winter Relief Workforce’ register designed to cover potential workforce shortages, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, Francis Sullivan said today.

“The sector faces major workforce challenges as it is but with winter illnesses and support workers leaving the sector,the pressure is really on,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Winter and flu season means we need to ensure that people with disabilities continue to be supported when the workforce is struck by illness,” Mr Sullivan said.

“This register is a proactive step designed to identify skilled disability workers able to be called up on a short-term basis when there are critical local workforce shortages.”

The register is looking for former disability support workers or final placement students;

  1. with appropriate worker clearances and police checks, and
  2. prepared to do paid shifts over winter when there is a critical local need.

The National Disability Insurance Agency and IPA Personnel have built the register so qualified disability support workers can be deployed locally on a short-term basis.

To join the Winter Relief Workforce register, go to

Disability staff shortages come as an ACTU survey from February showed almost a third of the country’s 2,500 disability support workers indicated they wanted to be in a different job within 12 months.

A parliamentary report into the NDIS also found the sector was facing a shortfall and needed to grow by 83,000 staff in the next two years to keep up with demand.

Disability support providers can contact NDIA Provider Support by emailing, or lodge a 13A notification with the Commission to access to the register.

Among the more than 50 members of Catholic Social Services Australia, disability care is one of the most common services provided.

Tens of thousands of Australians with disability are supported by CSSA providers each year.

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Pressure is really on’ to find disability workers‘, CathNews

Media Contact: Michael Salmon | 0417 495 018

PO Box 6067, O’Connor ACT 2602. T 02 6285 1366 | E

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