The disability workforce will need to grow by 83,000 full-time staff in two years to keep up with demand, according to a new report presented to parliament.
But attracting workers to the NDIS is challenging as the sector is increasingly seen as overworked, underpaid, undervalued and poorly trained.
The disability workforce currently has 270,000 workers across 20 different skill sets.
But it will need to grow by an extra 83,000 staff to support the predicted 500,000 participants within two years, the report found.
NDIS committee chair Kevin Andrews told parliament the report made eight recommendations on improving the disability workforce.
“Ambitious action is need to adequately address issues in the NDIS workforce,” he said.
Recommendations include increasing workforce data collection, enhancing employment within the NDIS for people with disabilities, providing more student placement opportunities and providing appropriate upskilling initiatives.
Opposition spokesman Bill Shorten said the pandemic highlighted the problems within the disability workforce and the lack of forward planning to fix it.
He said the Delta and Omicron outbreaks left behind Australia’s most clinically vulnerable and their support workers.
“If we want to attract more people it’s not just about providing more training, it’s about providing more remuneration,” he told parliament.
“These people work with their brains, their hands and their hearts. We shouldn’t be asking disability care workers to subsidise the safety net of disability care in this nation.”