Huge Demand for Disability Support

Use in-demand skills to your advantage Melanie Burgess reports from The Herald Sun.

QUALITY disability care workers are in such high demand they can afford to be picky when choosing an employer. The sector’s jobs are growing at about 11.1 per cent a year, February’s Australian Disability Workforce Report from National Disability Services, Workforce Wizard and Care Careers reveals.  This compares to 9.5 per cent averaged across the broader social assistance/personal assistance/residential care sectors, and 1.6 per cent averaged across the Australian workforce as a whole.

“As the NDIS rollout proceeds, new organisations have arisen and existing organisations have expanded their staff to cope with the increased demand for services,” the report says.

Workers with sought-after skills can leverage this demand and take only the jobs that tick all their boxes.

SEEK Laws of Attraction data shows community services and development workers are most likely to favour employers that offer work/life balance (important for 14.3 per cent), job security (11.3 per cent), a decent salary or compensation (10.9 per cent), career development opportunities (10.8 per cent) and a good organisational culture (10.8 per cent).

Justin Scanlon, founder of Hearth Personal Care Services, says he does not have trouble attracting workers as he takes a different approach with his staff, providing above-award pay and professional development that builds transferable skills. Scanlon, whose son Tristan has cerebral palsy, says he does not necessarily look for qualifications when hiring, rather focusing on cultural fit. “We look for the ability to build relationships, to think on their feet, to know when to ask for help,” he says.

“We have a coffee chat for 45 minutes and generally you can tell at that stage if someone has potential.”

Rashmika Suresh, relationship manager, Hearth Personal Care Services


I connect participants, families and carers with carefully matched support workers, who are selected to meet the needs of the individual. I also collaborate with my team to facilitate our Hearth Training which provides new support workers with knowledge and skills to support our participants.


Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.


I was drawn to Hearth as the mission, vision and ideals of Hearth and its founder Justin resonated with my own values. I had developed a passion for empowering and supporting people with disabilities as I had the pleasure of supporting Justin’s son Tristan.


I really love going out and meeting new participants and families. I love listening to their stories and watching the faces of proud parents and carers as they tell us how much their child has learned. It is really rewarding to support someone to do an activity they never thought they would be able to do.

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