The Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has achieved Disability Confident Recruiter status from the Australian Network on Disability.
It is the first government agency in WA to do so, the state government announced on Wednesday.
“Achieving this status recognises DBCA’s commitment to enabling skilled jobseekers with disability to compete for positions on a level playing field, adjusting the recruitment process to ensure access for candidates with disability, and providing an excellent candidate experience to all applicants,” it said.
“The accreditation from the Australian Network on Disability has come as a result of DBCA removing barriers to inclusive recruitment and building on its capability to attract, support and retain skilled candidates with disability.”
Environment and disability services minister Stephen Dawson called on more agencies and organisations to work towards gaining the status, which can be achieved by completing a program run by the Australian Network on Disability.
“I commend the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for ensuring its recruitment practices are as inclusive as possible to remove unnecessary barriers to employment for talented and skilled candidates with disability,” he said.
The department currently employs more than 1800 full-time-equivalent staff and comprises the Parks and Wildlife Service, Zoological Parks Authority, Rottnest Island Authority and Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority.
Dawson noted that late last year, the WA government announced an action plan to make its public sector “a leader in the employment of people with disability”.
The policy set a new disability employment target for the public sector of 5% by the end of 2025, and included an action plan.
When announcing the new target, Dawson noted the representation of people with disability employed in the sector was only at 1.5% and was on a downward trend.
“We expect this target to be met,” he said.
“There is an abundance of evidence showing that employing people with disability makes good business sense, with increased productivity and decreased absenteeism.”
The target and action plan are part of a wider workforce diversity strategy which is set to drop later this year.