Connecting Pathways to Employment with the Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) Model

genU partners: Jaime-Lee Demmer, Vicki Strachan, Hannah Pittaway, Lachlan Hodgson & Paul Newling

Employment rates for people with disability have remained stagnant in Australia due in part to unsuitable funding structures and limited confidence of employers in the open labour market. Now, more than ever, greater supports are needed for tailored employment pathways into open employment for people with a disability.

In 2021 Centre for Social Impact Swinburne and genU's Disability Support Services were funded by the Department of Social Services to adapt and implement elements of the Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) model into a genU supported work environment, which supports inclusive workplace conditions and employment pathways for people with a disability.

The resulting report, launched in a webinar in July 2022, finds that the challenge in creating sustainable employment pathways for people with disability is shaped by employer confidence, employee confidence and having the right funding and organisational structure to support pathways.

The research team at CSI Swinburne are currently working with partners to develop pathways for people with a disability into open employment settings. As part of this work the team hosted a webinar called 'Employment Pathways for People with a Disability: Lessons Learned from the US' on the 8th of December 2022. The webinar includes presentations from international pathways experts Sara Murphy and Rich Luecking.