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Detailed guidance for opportunities for Victorians with disability

Find model approaches and further information in relation to opportunities for Victorians with disability.

Introduction 

Opportunities for Victorians with a disability is one of seven social procurement objectives included in the Social Procurement Framework.  

Corresponding social outcomes 

The Social Procurement Framework identifies two social outcomes corresponding to this social procurement objective: 

  • Purchasing from Victorian social enterprises and Australian Disability Enterprises; and 
  • Employment of Victorians with disability by suppliers to the Victorian Government. 

These outcomes are addressed separately below. 

Recommended actions 

Individual procurement activity requirements for government buyers (Table 3 of the Social Procurement Framework) recommends the following actions: 

For individual procurement activities valued below $1 million (regional) or $3 million (metro or State-wide) (exclusive of GST), government buyers seek opportunities to directly or indirectly procure from relevant Victorian social enterprises (i.e. those that create employment opportunities for Victorians with disability) or Australian Disability Enterprises.  

For individual procurement activities valued at or above $1 million (regional) or $3 million (metro or State-wide) up to $20 million (exclusive of GST), government buyers:  

  • ask suppliers to demonstrate their own inclusive employment practices for Victorians with disability in weighted framework criteria; or 
  • consider whether part of the procurement can be unbundled for delivery from relevant Victorian social enterprises or Australian Disability Enterprises. 

For individual procurement activities valued at or above $20 million (exclusive of GST), government buyers:  

  • ask suppliers to include performance standards or set targets on labour hours performed by Victorians with disability and ask suppliers to demonstrate how they will meet such targets; or 
  • set targets for supplier expenditure with relevant Victorian social enterprises or Australian Disability Enterprises and ask suppliers to demonstrate how they will meet such targets.  

Purchasing from Victorian social enterprises and Australian Disability Enterprises

Benefits for Victorians 

Paid work is one part of economic participation that builds a sense of self-worth and independence. When people with disability have higher incomes through work, they have more spending power as consumers and are more able to invest in housing and education. People with disability also contribute as producers of goods and services. 

Australian Disability Enterprises and a range of social enterprises create employment opportunities for Victorians with disability: 

  • Australian Disability Enterprises are Commonwealth-funded (and generally not-for-profit) organisations that seek to operate in a commercial context, specifically to provide supportive employment opportunities to people with moderate to severe disability.  
  • In 2016-17, of the more than one million people with disability living in Victoria, 4,166 Victorians with disability were registered with an Australian Disability Enterprises.  
  • Some Australian Disability Enterprises also meet the definition of ‘social enterprise’ below.  
  • Social Traders describes social enterprises as ‘businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people with access to employment and training, or help the environment’. Key elements of Social Traders’ definition of social enterprise, which is used for the purpose of verifying suppliers as certified social enterprises, are that the supplier:  
    • is driven by a public or community cause, be it social, environmental, cultural or economic;  
    • derives most of their income from trade, not donations or grants; and  
    • uses the majority (at least 50 per cent) of their profits to work towards their social mission. 

Model approach for government buyers 

There are two model approaches to delivering this outcome: 

Direct approach to social procurement – selectively target relevant Victorian social enterprises or Australian Disability Enterprises, or alternatively, ensure that relevant Victorian social enterprises and ADEs are included in any market approach. 

AND/OR 

Indirect approach to social procurement – require mainstream suppliers to include relevant Victorian social enterprises and Australian Disability Enterprises within their supply chain (e.g. by way of sub-contracting). 

Where appropriate, government buyers may also require suppliers to evidence their status, or the status of suppliers in their supply chain, as a relevant Victorian social enterprise or Australian Disability Enterprises. 

Further information for government buyers 

The information below will help government buyers identify relevant Victorian social enterprises and Australian Disability Enterprises for the purpose of the model approaches.  

The VendorPanel procurement platform is available to all departments and agencies to access social benefit suppliers. There is no cost for enabling this platform, as access has been provided through the Victorian Government State Purchase Contract for eProcurement. 

VendorPanel has a social benefit supplier marketplace that, among other things, provides government buyers with access to the Social Enterprise marketplace, verified by Social Traders. 

Government buyers can use VendorPanel’s social benefit supplier marketplace to identify verified social enterprises (including ADEs that are verified social enterprises), which are searchable by category and geographical location, and to put out quotes to these businesses. Further information is also available on VendorPanel in relation to each supplier to determine whether its mission involves creating employment opportunities for Victorians with disability. 

All government buyers will also have access to the Social Traders secure buyer portal to identify verified social enterprises and their mission, and search these by category and geographical location. The Social Traders buyer portal will also include social procurement resources provided by Social Traders and upcoming Social Traders event information.  Contact your Chief Procurement Officer/Accountable Officer for the government buyer password and log-in to the Social Traders buyer portal, or alternatively contact the Social Procurement Team:  

Government buyers may also identify Australian Disability Enterprises using BuyAbility’s online directory.  

The definition of social benefit supplier (see Understanding social procurement) also includes social enterprises that are listed on the Map for Impact (the Victorian Social Enterprise Mapping Project).  

Government buyers can obtain further information about: 

Employment of Victorians with disability by suppliers to the Victorian Government

Benefits for Victorians 

Paid work is one part of economic participation that builds a sense of self-worth and independence. When people with disability have higher incomes through work, they have more spending power as consumers and are more able to invest in housing and education. People with disability also contribute as producers of goods and services. 

The opportunities for inclusion and benefits coming from employment and contributing to the economy make it a vitally important approach for driving change. When people with disability have the benefit of good education and training and are contributing to the economy as consumers, employers, entrepreneurs, and workers, they are also challenging outmoded attitudes. 

A common assumption is that people with disability can only do basic, unskilled jobs. The opposite is actually the case – people with disability bring a range of skills, talents and abilities to the workplace. They work in all sorts of jobs and hold a range of tertiary and trade qualifications. 

Australian and international studies have also proven people with disability to be reliable and productive employees, with lower recruitment, insurance cover and compensation costs and higher retention rates. 

Model approach for government buyers 

There are two model approaches to delivering this outcome: 

  • Where government buyers focus on social business practices (here, inclusive employment practices for Victorians with disability):  
  • require suppliers to complete an inclusive employment practices self-assessment checklist that covers key components such as: 
  • existing plans or strategies to facilitate workforce diversity and employment opportunities for people with disability; 
  • flexible work arrangements; 
  • non-discriminatory recruitment and retention practices; 
  • accessible office facilities and equipment; 
  • targeted employment programs and pathways for people with disability; 
  • relationships with Disability Employment Services; 
  • adoption of accessible information technology, software, business applications and websites; 
  • internal staff development and support mechanisms that are inclusive of people with disability; and 
  • key performance indicators, benchmarks and/or targets for the employment and retention of people with disability. 

Where appropriate, government buyers may require suppliers to:  

  • provide documentary evidence in support of their responses to the self-assessment checklist; and/or 
  • provide a written declaration in relation to their responses to the self-assessment checklist. 

AND/OR 

  • Where government buyers focus on social outputs (here, employment outcomes for Victorians with disability):  
    • require suppliers to commit to targets or targeted employment programs to drive employment outcomes for Victorians with disability; and 
    • require suppliers to explain their recruitment and retention strategies for the employment of Victorians with disability and support them to achieve and maintain employment outcomes. 

Consider inserting the Employment for Victorians with a disability - model Information Schedule into the supplier response schedule when the procurement supports opportunities for Victorian with a disability. 

Further information for government buyers

In considering employment opportunities, it is recommended that the focus be on responding to demonstrated employer/industry workforce needs and providing pathways to employment that are likely to be sustained over time. 

There are a broad range of government-funded services and programs to help suppliers attract and retain candidates with disability and/or create targeted job opportunities for Victorians with disability including the following:  

JobAccess is the national hub for workplace and employment information for people with disability, employers and service providers. Created by the Australian Government, it brings together the information and resources that can ‘drive disability employment’. 

The National Disability Recruitment Coordinator funded by the Australian Government as a program of JobAccess – is designed to help larger employers access the skills and talents of people with disability. The National Disability Recruitment Coordinator can assist employers to develop workplace policies and practices that accommodate people with disability. As well as providing a comprehensive job vacancy service available online at https://www.jobaccess.gov.au/employers/national-disability-recruitment-…, the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator conducts workplace training and employer seminars on disability awareness. The National Disability Recruitment Coordinator can also connect employers to the national network of Disability Employment Services.  

Disability Employment Services (refer to JobAccess website and the Department of Social Services) provide specialist employment assistance to help people with disability, injury or health conditions find and retain suitable employment in the open labour market.  

For employers, Disability Employment Services can provide a range of free services, including help to employ and retain workers with disability and access to a range of financial incentives and support. 

As of 31 December 2017, of the more than one million people with disability living in Victoria, over 50,000 were assisted by Victorian Disability Employment Services  

Jobs Victoria was established by the Victorian Government in 2016. It provides tailored services to support and connect jobseekers and employers. With its network of partners throughout the state, it assists jobseekers to become job-ready through mentoring, training and development. At the same time, it works closely with employers to identify exactly the types of skills and experience they require. 

Through this process, Victorian businesses gain access to a source of quality candidates, and jobseekers find meaningful, ongoing employment. This has great benefit for individuals, communities and the Victorian economy. 

Fee-for-service advice and support 

The Australian Network on Disability is an employer-driven organisation, with the specific purpose to advance the equitable inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of business. It is not-for-profit and has scores of Australian businesses, government departments and community-based organisations as members. Joining Australian Network on Disability can help connect organisations with like-minded colleagues and support them in developing inclusive business practices. 

Tools and support 

This content on this page is taken from the Social Procurement Framework – Buyer Guidance Guide to individual procurement activity requirements. Access a PDF version in the social procurement document library

For more information about social procurement, please contact the Social Procurement team

Reviewed 09 October 2019

Buying for Victoria

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