HomeCareersWorkforce Overview

The disability workforce is quite distinctive. About 70% of disability support workers are women, compared to a figure of 46% in the wider Australian workforce. Disability support workers are also slightly older than the Australian workforce: some 44% are aged 45 years or more.

The workforce of the disability sector needs significant growth. There are huge demands on disability services.The support workforce is growing by around 10% each year.

The latest NDS Workforce Census covered the period July to December 2020. The disability workforce continues to recover from significant challenges including COVID-19 lockdowns.

A total of 246 organisations responded to the December 2020 census, covering almost 44,000 workers nationally.

Recent Workforce reports


NDIS Capability Framework

As per the National Disability Services (NDS) Australian Disability Workforce Report (3rd edition - 2018), "most (48%) disability support workers are still employed on a permanent basis, whether part-time or full-time. However, the proportion continues to fall. Casual employment, alternatively, is rising and in March 2018 accounted for nearly half of the total workforce".

Read the fact sheet: Figuring Out the Disability Workforce

Watch the recorded webinar: What Does The NDIS Mean For Your Career?

Watch the recorded webinar: Building and Valuing a Diverse Workforce

Coming soon: Communities of Practice

NDP will soon be initiating a number of Communities of Practice online interactive groups. They are designed for disability practitioners to contribute to the development of sector resources and where needed, advocate for positive change. By joining a Community of Practice, you will create new relationships, develop resources in areas you are passionate about, as well as build upon and share your knowledge.

'The Change Room' 

The Change Room is a full day workshop designed to equip frontline staff and managers with skills and techniques to overcome barriers to change and manage the change around them.  The workshops were held in several NSW locations throughout May and June 2017 and were tailored to support specialist disability services currently provided by the Department of Family and Community Services FACS (those services provided by Ageing, Disability and Home Care under the old structure) that are transferring to non-government organisations (NGOs). 

Hear what your peers thought of The Change Room and how they are working through the transition:

Disability Workforce Conference Resource

Access all the resources from our Workforce in the Disability Sector virtual conference.

Virtual Conference logo