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NDIS struggling to meet workforce growth targets: report

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is unlikely to have enough providers and workers to deliver the full rollout of the $22 billion initiative without further policy intervention, a Productivity Commission report warns.

The draft report on NDIS costs estimates that one in five new jobs created in Australia over the next few years will need to be in the disability care sector.

To address these workforce shortages, the report recommends a series of changes including:

  • meeting the preference of many workers to work more hours
  • temporarily relaxing rules to allow informal carers to provide more paid care, especially in rural and remote areas, and
  • greater use of skilled migration to address persistent shortages, for example among allied health professionals.

The commission said trends showed providers were already responding to workforce shortages by using less skilled labour, which could compromise the quality of care.

If left unaddressed, these workforce pressures could create short and long-term risks to the sustainability of the scheme and participant wellbeing, according to the position paper.

A shortage of disability supports served to contain scheme costs in the short term but was likely to eventually contribute to higher costs as people were unable to access the supports they needed.

In addition to improving workforce data, the commission said a more coordinated approach to workforce development was required. The report said:

“Without a sufficient supply of disability supports, the NDIS cannot function as intended.”

The scheme’s “highly ambitious” rollout, as specified in agreements between governments, was also putting quality and sustainability at risk.

The speed of the transition has placed a lot of pressure on the National Disability Insurance Agency to finalise plans quickly, which has compromised the quality of participant plans, the report found.

To reach the estimated 475,000 participants at full scheme by 2020, the NDIA will need to approve about 500 plans a day.

The commission is seeking feedback on how a slowdown in the scheme’s rollout could be implemented and flow on implications, in preparation for its final report due in September.

To improve transparency about how price caps are set under the NDIS, the commission recommended the immediate introduction of an independent price monitor.

By 1 July 2019, price regulation powers should be transferred to an in independent regulator as part of a staged move to price deregulation, the commission said.

The paper found more attention was also needed to address access issues in thin markets and the commission was seeking feedback on measures that could be adopted.

Submissions in response to PC’s draft findings are required by 12 July.

Read the position paper in full here

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5 Responses to NDIS struggling to meet workforce growth targets: report

  1. Anonymous June 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    Why not make the cert III in Individual Support more affordable as this will draw more people to the industry

  2. Antony Dunn June 22, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

    Unless the NDIS & the NDI get together to lobby the Ferderal Government to increase the hourly costs for services, the scheme is designed to fail. Service providers can not meet costs involved under the current cap and finding 78000 disabilty workers by 2019 is impossible if you don’t pay workers above the modern award. The old statement ” if you pay peanuts you get monkeys” will come to fruition and the system will collapse. The NDIS has great intentions, but unless all Governments, state and federal, work together to ensure hourly costs are in line with Current service provisions, the NDIS will fail and bring this country to a fiscal ending similar to how New Zealand’s NDIS collapsed. Selling off all public disabilty services to the non government sector is not the answer, just a true reflection that State Governments now under the current hourly rate, the NDIS is unstainable and will fail dramatically

  3. Chrissy June 22, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

    Yes, and with all the 457 visas being canned for overseas experienced students like highly qualified Doctors, Nurses, Ambos, O/Ts, Physios this will delete another 60% of the really good Carers for People with a Disability and the Aged!

    Very few Aussies will lower themselves to be these type of Carers, so what hope for these vulnerable people?

    How smart are our Politicians not even considering 47% of our future population!??

  4. Pamela June 26, 2017 at 9:58 am #

    I am a qualified social worker over the age of 50. Can’t get a job because my age has been a barrier. Now I am doing aged care work which I really love.

    I can provide both social work and personal caring to people. The pay certainly doesn’t meet the demand of the job. I found personal caring more demanding than most human services jobs. I drive 3 hours round trip to do this work because there is no work where i live. Factor this into my poor hourly pay.

    I haven’t lowered myself to this type of career I was really pushed into it because of ageism. Now I fight for those who don’t have voice. I help take care of those who have no voice.

    It’s time to pay carers what they deserve, what I deserve. It would seem logical that if we were paid a decent hourly rate then we wouldn’t need government assistance in the long run. We could provide for ourselves.

  5. Bob July 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm #

    I have just completed a Cert III individual carers course. However with the way the Centrelink rules currently stand I can’t take any work without losing my carer’s pension.
    If we could access trained people without impacting current pension provisions we might get a lot more qualified staff putting their hands up….

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