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Diversity field officer service: An evaluation of an employer engagement strategy trialed in Geelong, Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-20, 00:58 authored by Kevin Murfitt, Cadeyrn GaskinCadeyrn Gaskin
BACKGROUND: The Australian Government has applied considerable focus to improving the unemployment rate of people with disability through initiatives to build their capacity and job readiness. Far less attention has been paid to addressing the needs of business, especially small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME). OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the Diversity Field Officer Service (DFOS) pilot, which aimed to address that gap through providing direct support to SME to build disability confidence and more inclusive organizations. METHODS: We used a mixed method approach (pre- and post-service surveys along with post-service semi-structured interviews) with representatives from 36 businesses. We used descriptive statistics and thematic analysis to summarise the survey data and interview material, respectively. RESULTS: Confidence in employing people with disability increased, as did the employment of, and intention to employ, people with disability. Many businesses were implementing, or planning to implement, measures to increase the employment of people with disability. DFOS capacity building exercises and activities (e.g., one-to-one conversations to understand the specific needs and challenges of their businesses) were all rated highly. Participants were generally supportive of an ongoing role for DFOS. CONCLUSION: The DFOS holds promise as a strategy to increase the employment of people with disability in SME.

History

Journal

Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation

Volume

57

Pagination

215-223

ISSN

1052-2263

eISSN

1878-6316

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

3

Publisher

IOS Press

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