I posted a bulletin last week about the inspiring National Disability Employment Framework Discussion Paper. I was excited about the potential the proposed changes to Australian Disability Enterprises (we used to call these sheltered workshops) flagged in the paper.
Because we still get stories like the one retold to me today: 'Fred' (name changed to respect his privacy) left school approximately 6 years ago and entered a sheltered workshop. After 5+ years his salary had advanced to a princely $4ph (just under $160 a week).
NOVA staff placed 'Fred' in a suitable role for his skills where he remains employed full-time at an hourly rate of $22.50 or $213.75 a day.
What makes Fred so valuable to his employer?
He can do the job at a rate that enables the business to make a profit..
What made Fred so valuable to his previous employer?
You can be the judge.
In the interests of transparency NOVA operates an ADE in Walgett in the far north west of New South Wales - average wages for workers are the 2nd highest in Australia at $13.50ph. NOVA uses the Supported Wage System to measure productivity
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It is a sad but true fact that the present Disability Employment Service contract encourages small, minimum hour jobs.
Poor design and the introduction of 'for profit' providers means that at present a very large percentage of jobs found for people with disability are designed to game the contract rather than improve the lot of people with disability....
SBS are showing a "Focusonability" special at 2.30pm today - set your recorders!...
Truly Exciting For the period of my employment in the disability employment industry I have looked forward to a time when people with disabilities would cease to be exploited for their labour - something that still occurs as a matter of routine*....
I am grateful to my colleague Peter Smith for drawing my attention to this article:
The struggle continues and will not end until this sort of exploitation is over - yes, it still happens that Australians can be used for their labour and earn a few dollars for their efforts and, despite being proven to be exploitative, the Commonwealth aids the perpetrators to continue in business!
All this stuff about the Business Services Wage Assessment tool (BSWAT) uses emotionally charged nonsense to obscure the truth - the BSWAT consistently delivered lower results than other assessment tools, particularly for people with intellectual disability....
Work not play
Work: activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result
Play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose
Work is NOT play....
Almost 1 year ago, speaking about the then proposed business reallocation I wrote the following on the discussion board of the peak body that represents Australian Disability Employment Services (DES):
It may just be me and does there seem to be a deafening silence on the impending disaster that is DES-ESS?
Heres the funding body message; "Dont fret, we are only going to be rid of a few of you and those that go earned it"
And our response is....
Todays Australian has a report that essentially says we (Australia) can't afford the DSP (Disability Support Pension).
I actually think there's a mistake in the content because my understanding is that the cost of DSP and the number of people in receipt of same have fallen over past couple of years - albeit not by much....
Never known a time like it!
I have been involved in some form or another in the employment of people with disability since 1987. In that time we have had a couple of economic booms and a couple of busts - including the GFC....
A fabulous read!
O.K., maybe not the greatest book of all time, but a modern inspiration that celebrates a triumph of the human spirit while demonstrating the intellect, dedication and capacity of a first class team*....
I'm about to go away for a few days and make an international nuisance of myself (New Zealand - "Focusonability NZ") - before I go a couple of emerging trends on the NDIS front are worth a mention:
There are some services, and employment would be an example, that don't readily package to small hour blocks of time, so allocating 10 hours for pre-employment work preparation programs, simply earns the person that makes the recommendation significant income without changing the outlook for the recipient....
Received heaps of 'congrats' on 25 years this week and would not be appropriate for me to go to the weekend without offering my thanks to the truly remarkable team that makes up NOVA 2015....
I will leave it to cleverer people than me to explain 'why' and am delighted to say that demand for our candidates has never been stronger.
Placement for 3rd quarter 2015 are 50% up on same period last year (and I wasn't unhappy with those results) - workers are going into a very wide range of work choices and, thanks to our internal focus on quality the overwhelming majority of positions are at >15hrs per week....
Let's get inspired!
If this was my work I would be boasting SO badly......: https://www.facebook.com/novatransition
Regular readers will know that I am not social media savvy, in fact it's all a bit of a mystery....
Nothing to do with me and....
Nothing to do with me and I am very pleased:
Line from new DoE exposure draft: A 12 week employment outcome is defined as 12 weeks of employment that reduces income support by 60 per cent !!!!
Meaningful outcomes that actually bring financial benefit to the Commonwealth for the services it provides make sound business and philosophical sense - this is the way to go, this is what the people want!
Because people with disability dont want to be on the fringes of employment in work that meets minimums for provider payout but doesn't make a real difference in their lives....
25 years: where did they go?
Today marks the start of my 26th year as NOVAs chief executive.
I dont want to get into the good old days or rave on about how much things have changed but a quick review of the differences between 01....
For the past few weeks we have had a counter run down the 'Supernova' promotion - our teams attempt to ensure as many job seekers as possible were helped to gain meaningful employment....
Silence? Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King Jr.
It matters to me that we live in a world where everyone has the opportunity to live the fullest lives they wish....
Transition to Work An almost taken for granted rite of passage for most people is the move from school to work.
This transition is a sometimes scary, sometimes stressful and generally always exciting time and one that leaves lasting memories: I earned seven pounds ten shillings which was handed me in a small yellow pay envelope which I wasnt allowed to open, rather I took it home to my mum who opened it for me, took the five pounds she felt my keep was worth and left me feeling like the king of the world with the princely sum of two pound ten!
For young people who have a disability, what the rest of the world might take for granted is not such a smooth ride....
World in Balance
A moments break from the usual stuff about changing the world to make sure everyone is alert to the harmonization of the planets and the kick off of the 2016 football season headlined with the Mighty Millwall about to inflict a solid hammering to Shrewsbury Town (about 2am local time 09....
Why do we run 'focus'?
This competition is amazing my students feel so proud to be part of it, especially when they see all the awesome competition they are up against....