Because I am old and don't have a life, I often watch 'gardening australia' on the ABC. It's a great show and I really enjoy it.
Today there was a segment on a sheleterd workshop (South Australia?). The ABC did a great job and tried their best to highlight the ability of the workers. Well done ABC.
What also came across was the belief that the sheltered work staff stated clearly: "there's a big push for us to prepare our people for open employment, but the jobs aren't there".
The workers had also been schooled by the workshop to view their employment as 'safe' and their role to be 'part of a family'.
This isn't true. I like the people I work with and I enjoy their company, but they ain't my family. I'm safe at work too - in fact, all Australians have a right to be safe at work, home or wherever they may be.
Here's the truth: Go into a sheltered workshop, don't hold your breath to leave (you probably won't - most don't). The workshop needs it's best (most productive employees) in order to make a profit. Making a profit is present government policy for all sheltered workshops (I will not call them business services because that's a silly and misleading name) and it acts as an effective break on the movement to real jobs for real wages in the real world.
I can't speak for employers outside of NSW and Queensland, but I can say that hundreds of employers across these states are employing people with similar disabilities to those shown in the ABC program, at award wage (sometimes on productivity based wages) and on the same basis you or I might get a job - our worth.
NOVA's jobseekers make great workers - not as charity cases but as valued members of their teams.
Let's not be mislead.
Tomorrow I'll put '3 reasons not to put someone you love in a sheltered workshop' back up.
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