Welcome to Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment Inc. © 2014 GSpeech

Accessing Graduate Talent Research project


Ready for Work - Graduates with Disablities
Research Report: Julie Farthing and Mark Glascodine, September 2013


The research project was based on the contention that Australia is currently experiencing challenges in the facilitation if students with disability into graduate roles. The evidence bas for this is largely anecdotal as data collection methods are unreliable and irregular and results inconclusiv e. The intended outcomes of the research were to:


1. Identify and document the core issues and concerns through the experience and perceptions of different stakeholder groups.


2. Discover what is already being done to address and overcome these issues and concerns, and what success had been achieved (appreciative inquiry).


3. Recommend specific strategies to improve outcomes for graduates with disabilities.


4. Inform further research in order to better understand the situation and the key issues. Our research was qualitative in nature, adopting a ‘breadth’ rather than ‘depth’ approach in order to represent the various stakeholder groups.



This involved face-to-face interactions with individuals and stakeholder groups, as well as a survey of Victorian university Career Services. Australia needs a skilled workforce, and this can only be achieved by making the best use of all graduates. Likewise, our economic viability into the future depends on more people contributing, as workers and as business owners, and, as a result, being less dependent on the welfare system. Recent activities, including those conducted as part of this project, have led to a higher level of awareness of the issues for all stakeholders regarding employment of graduates with disabilities. We can say with confidence that graduates with disabilities are not achieving their full potential in the workplace, including the hours they work, the type of work they do, the extent to which they realise their career potential, and whether, in fact, they work at all, compared with graduates without disabilities. This imbalance is unlikely to be related to a lack of capability; rather, they fail to progress through the various stages of the recruitment process, or, worse still, are not alert to opportunities in the first place. Employers and recruiters are becoming increasingly interested in redressing this imbalance; some have created targeted roles and adapted their recruitment processes, while others are keen to see more talented graduates with disabilities applying generally. It makes good business sense to have access to the full range of available talent in an inclusive recruitment program. Many of the participants (university staff and employers) are already engaged in activities in preparation for next year’s recruitment programs, armed with great ideas developed in the workshops (using both learnings from the UK and those developed during the workshops themsel ves).


Building strong alliances between stakeholders is a key to success; a partnership approach requires strong initial coordination to build and maintain strong partnerships that involve government (policy makers and service providers), university staff, employers and third parties (including graduate recruiters and disability organisations) is an essential precursor to action. In Australia, we recognise the good work that has already begun by the Australian Network on Disability (AND) ‘PACE’ and ‘Stepping Into’ programs and the ‘Willing and Able Mentoring’ (WAM) program, all of which provide worthwhile opportunities for students with disabilities to prepare for work. These programs all have the capacity to be adapted and extended, and there is also scope for the development of other creative solutions

Click to listen highlighted text! Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment Inc. © 2014 GSpeech