Why Are Disability Support Workers in High Demand? | Sarina Russo

Why Are Disability Support Workers in High Demand?

By Sarina Russo Editorial Team

The Health Care and Social Assistance industry is Australia’s largest and fastest-growing industry. ¹ Over the past 5 years, employment in this industry has increased by 19.3% and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. ² This is due to Australia’s growing ageing population.

Kendra Banks, Managing Director of SEEK ANZ, recently commented, “The strong growth in Community Services is driven mainly by aged and disability support workers, who are in high demand across Australia. This is thanks in part to Australia’s ageing population, but also the country-wide rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which has had a positive impact on job ad growth over the past two years.”

Currently, there are around 4.3 million Australians with a disability and 400,000 NDIS participants. More than 150,000 of these participants are receiving support for the very first time. ³

Over the next 5 years, the NDIS is expected to provide more than $22 billion a year and in the next 4 years, an additional 83,000 workers will be required to meet the growing demand. ⁴

Where is the NDIS workforce heading?

In short, it’s heading in a positive direction.

On June 10th 2021, the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Linda Reynolds, launched a major Australian Government initiative to build a responsive and capable workforce for the NDIS.

In a video message, Minister Reynolds said, “The Australian Government is committed to ensuring the NDIS endures for many generations to come, and that includes having a strong and sustainable workforce to support it. The NDIS National Workforce Plan will ensure we have a modern workforce caring for our fellow Australians both now and well into the future. This Plan will generate benefits for participants, for workers, providers, and also for the broader Australian economy.”

📖 Related Story: What Qualifications do you Need to Work in Aged Care?

For the workforce, this will mean more employment opportunities, better training for new and current NDIS workers, improved services and greater support for allied health workers.

Essentially, the NDIS is getting a facelift to meet the growing demand of participants and everyone within this industry is going to benefit greatly from the new NDIS Workforce Plan. 

For more information on the NDIS National Workforce Plan, please visit: www.dss.gov.au/ndisworkforceplan.

How do I become a disability support worker?

While it is possible to work as a Disability Support Worker without formal qualifications, many employers require a vocational qualification such as a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Disability).

A CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Disability) is considered a baseline standard qualification for disability support workers. An advantage of enrolling in this qualification is that you can complete it in 6 months and you can gain hands-on experience with industry level, vocational work placement.

If you are wanting to increase your skill level and job opportunities, we recommend students also consider completing a CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services. This course follows on from the CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support at Sarina Russo Institute and provides graduates with opportunities to work across a range of fields, including working with people experiencing drug/alcohol-related issues and supporting those with disabilities or mental health issues.

By studying this course, students gain the knowledge and skillset to work with a diverse range of clients. They learn to coordinate complex case requirements, implement community development strategies and manage legal and ethical compliance.

With the demand for disability support workers expected to skyrocket in coming years, there has never been a better time than now to start a career in the disability sector. If you are interested in working in the disability sector and would like to discuss pathway options, please don’t hesitate to email our Career Counsellor at: enquire@sri.edu.au


[1] Health Care and Social Assistance, Job Outlook, Retrieved on 17 June, 2021, from https://joboutlook.gov.au/industries/industry-profiles?industryCode=Q

[2] ] Health Care and Social Assistance Industry Data, Retrieved on 17 June, 2021, from https://lmip.gov.au/default.aspx?LMIP/GainInsights/IndustryInformation/HealthCareandSocialAssistance

[3] ] There are now 400,000 NDIS participants, Retrieved on 17 June, 2021, from https://www.ndis.gov.au/stories/5067-there-are-now-400000-ndis-participants

[4]  NDIS National Workforce Plan: 2021–2025, Retrieved on 17 June, 2021, from https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/06_2021/ndis-national-workforce-plan-2021-2025.pdf 

[5] ] Disability and Carers: NDIS National Workforce Plan: 2021-2025, Retrieved on 17 June, 2021, from https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers-publications-articles/ndis-national-workforce-plan-2021-2025

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