Staff shortages could be eased if employers changed their approach to job applicants with a disability, the social services minister says.

Amanda Rishworth wants employers to “think outside the box” when it comes to hiring processes. 

“Community attitudes are one of the biggest barriers facing people with a disability to get employment,” she told ABC radio on Thursday.

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“I want employers to have a serious think about how they can potentially employ someone with a disability.”

If employers don’t hire applicants with a disability they will miss out and won’t get the employees they need in the midst of the labour shortage, the minister said.

Ms Rishworth intends to hold a roundtable bringing together employers, unions and disability groups to discuss barriers to employment can be overcome.

“There are a lot of people that successfully gain employment where nothing (in the workplace) needed to change, it was an attitude change,” she said.

“We need a commitment from businesses, that they are interested in doing this that they’re committed to putting some attention and focus on this.”

Ms Rishworth will attend a National Youth Disability Summit on Thursday ahead of the broader roundtable later in the year. 

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Peter Fray
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