Productivity Commission report on NDIS flags possible worker shortfall

A NEW analysis of the National Insurance Disability Scheme, which starts in Albury on July 1, predicts a future shortage of people able to supply services.

A real challenge is growing the disability care workforce needed to deliver the scheme.

Angela MacRae

The Productivity Commission position paper said the disability sector could account for as many as one in five new jobs created in Australia over the next few years.

“A real challenge is growing the disability care workforce needed to deliver the scheme,”  commissioner Angela MacRae said.

“There are unlikely to be enough providers and workers as the scheme rolls out under current policy settings.”

The National Disability Insurance Agency estimated there would be 900 to 1100 new jobs in Murrumbidgee region, which included Albury, to meet the demand for disability services and supports. In Wodonga and the Ovens Murray region, where the NDIS would begin on October 1, between 200 and 250 jobs were expected to be created.

NDIA chief executive David Bowen said the agency would examine the commission’s draft findings.

“The pressures facing the scheme, which the Productivity Commission has highlighted, are the same as those that the NDIA has acknowledged and is working to address,” he said.

The position paper said the NDIS was a complex and highly valued national reform and, based on trial and transition data, its costs were broadly on track with the agency’s long-term modelling.

Social policy commissioner Richard Spencer said the extraordinary scale, pace and nature of the changes brought up big challenges.

“A key concern is the speed of the roll-out and its impact on the experience of participants and providers through the planning process, plan quality and market development,” Mr Spencer said.