Finding work during the Coronavirus crisis when you have a disability

Young man with disability finds food delivery work during the coronavirus crisis

Since COVID-19 took effect in Australia, many workers have been forced to work from home.

Others have lost their job altogether, unable to continue due to social distancing measures.

With the sudden spike in national unemployment and lines outside Centrelink, you might be thinking it’s too hard for a person with a disability to get a job.

However, there is still employment for people with disability right now, and there are people with disability still finding work.

While a number of industries have been completely shut down, and others have had to overhaul procedures and operations to stay open, some businesses are under massive pressure to deliver essential services to the public.

There are companies and organisations now desperate for workers. In fact, COVID-19 has forced society into behavioural changes that have created extra jobs. Not only for now while we isolate and socially distance, but for a future beyond the pandemic.

Futurists told ABC News they believe some changes are here to stay and predict an opening of jobs in a range of industries and professions currently being created.

So, while the current slogan 'stay home' blasts across every screen on every device, and we navigate through our new way of life - minus the physically social side - there are some real benefits to take advantage of (beyond daytime pyjamas), now and in the future.

New jobs being created means new job opportunities. That includes more job opportunities for people with disability.

Man & woman with a disability find work as cleaners during the coronavirus crisis

How to find a job during COVID-19

Naturally, the health and safety of all people is a priority. While APM continues to deliver Disability Employment Services to those with an eligible injury, illness and disability looking for work, they have had to change a few simple procedures.

You can still register online for Disability Employment Services and make an appointment by phone or online.

APM’s service hasn’t changed, we’re just eliminating face to face meetings as much as possible.

Employers are hiring and there are job opportunities for people with disability during this challenging time.

Recently NSW Premier Gladys Berejklian, said they would be hiring an extra 1,000 workers for Service NSW, to keep citizens informed about the virus as it changes.

Telstra also reported needing a thousand more call centre staff due to the lockdown.

With many now working from home, the need for internet services and increased data usage means more demand on IT technicians and customer service staff.

But it doesn’t end with customer service call centres...

Woman in bakery ensures good hygiene at work during the coronavirus crisis

With people staying home there is a huge demand for food deliveries.

Not only for instant meals (naturally there is a big demand for Uber eats drivers), but also more demand for grocery delivery, requiring more workers at the logistic and customer service end.

Where items are being unpacked, stocked, ordered, re-packed, and shipped for delivery, workers are needed.

Both Woolworths and Coles have been hiring thousands of additional staff for their supermarkets and distribution centres.

COVID-19 has even led to some grocery stores hiring staff to sanitise and clean trolleys and baskets used by shoppers.

Food producers also require help. Farmers rely on backpackers and seasonal staff for jobs such as fruit picking or harvesting, and as many travellers have been forced to return home, farmers are now hiring.

It doesn’t end with food either...

Aged care worker talking with older woman during the coronavirus crisis

The managing director of Seek in Australia, Kendra Banks said areas where there has been the biggest increase in demand for workers were health services.

These jobs include counsellors, social workers, nurses and aged care workers.

Retail and delivery services have also increased as well as nannies and tutors (for assisting with child-care and home school).

Without making a long list, there are more industries that may depend on the local businesses and employers near you.

APM has more than 500 locations across Australia and our teams can access a range of employers hiring now and work with you to find a job.

Because some new procedures and operations are expected to be long term there are job opportunities for people with disability during COVID-19 and beyond.

Many people with disability have a real opportunity to find work.

And if your particular skills or experience aren’t suited to the positions available now, there are things you can do to become more job-ready for when more businesses return to normal.


Read a full transcript of this video.