Nova Employment: Disability Employment Service | Intellectual | Deaf | Physical | Mental Illness Focus On Ability  

Martin Wren's Staff Profile

CEO - Head Office
This is my 25th year as NOVA’s Chief Executive and that’s long enough to have seen significant change in the public perception of the ability and achievements of people with disability.

Pretty much each week NOVA places as many people in employment as we did in the whole first year we were developing our craft.

And that’s what disability employment is – a craft. The idea that job seekers with significant barriers to employment can be streamlined and processed with the rewards going to the top ‘processors’ has led to a breakdown in the ability of disability employment services to care for people with higher needs and this trend seems doomed to continue in an environment that has swung too far from well-meaning charity to ‘for profit’ exploitation.

So, what of ‘the craft’ today (Feb 2015)?

Australian Disability Employment Services have been mistakenly led by a belief that applying what seems to work in generalist employment will work in speciality service provision (and if it doesn’t a generous dump of subsidy money will cover the gap).

Service providers need to take a stronger stand for what works and what’s right and not simply and slavishly follow the dictates of government contracts that have been so effective as to position our great nation motherless last when it comes to relative poverty and bottom end of the table when it comes to employment participation.

It doesn't have to be this way and all that’s needed is to talk to the target of the program people with disability.

A brief conversation will introduce folk with skill; ability and desire to succeed (just like you and me!) – Folk who want to play their part in a team, earn fair wages and get involved to the maximum possible level in every aspect of life.

It’s rare indeed to find such a person that wants a subsidised minimum hour job (unless driven by extreme poverty).

What’s more important and a vital part of my CV; I can show you example after example of success stories in full time work, Traineeships, Apprenticeships, workers with long service entitlements, people with disability that have been promoted, sometimes several times, managers, professionals, para-professional, manual labourers – folk in employment as diverse as that enjoyed by their non-disabled peers.

The fact is that people with disability can make great employees and with the assistance of a motivated and highly trained team it is my privilege to add new workers to our community every day

What do we do with people with disability?

- Turn them into taxpayers, in the sure knowledge that in a good match between aspiration and ability, they’ll do a damn good job.

Nova Head Office Contact Details:

Level 1
50 Chapel St
St Marys NSW 2760

Ph: 0288865800
Fax: 0298332499
Email: click here
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