Presently suffering from a combination of bird and swine flu with a side order of SARS (well, that's what it feels like) I am able to both plot, scheme and play. While playing I noticed that an average of 500 people visit this site each day - don't you just love Google analytics? I make the assumption that each of you shares an interest in the employment prospects and challenges faced by people who have a disability.
If that is the case than you are right in the middle of a very exciting time. The economy we are told is in slow decline and this is likely to be problematic for employment prospects for every Australian, not just those who face additional barriers. The next piece of information is therefore possibly going to come as a surprise - we are going 'gangbusters'! So far this year NOVA staff have assisted 160 people to start work. If that doesn't sound like many to you I want you to read it again, this time in the knowledge that last year, during a major economic boom, we managed about 350 people for the year!
How and why is this so? (Do you miss Professor Sumner Miller?)
There are a few reasons that spring to mind. First, a determined person is hard to stop. Our job seekers are very keen to participate as taxpayers - they want to work and are keen to be given an opportunity - that overcomes many barriers.
Next; NOVA has a highly skilled team of employment consultants and these days a very stable workforce. We experienced some growing pains a coupe of years ago, moving from less than 40 staff to well over a hundred. It wasn't that long ago that we recruited 20 new workers and during their training identified a need for 20 more! However, while we are still in growth and likely to continue to recruit during 2009, as a percentage of total staff, our needs are back in control. The present team have stability and our training programs are building and developing their skill base.
Third would be our employers. NOVA's experience is that business owners and managers are open to new ideas (and the concept of employment for people who have a disability is still fairly new) and ready to hear about how such individuals can add to their bottom line. The facts are that a person with a disability can make just as much profit as a person without and often bring significant additional benefits for employers. So working with NOVA staff who have access to more than 1300 motivated job seekers is a sound business decision. I know this 'hey, they'll make you a quid' thing might seem like a 'no-brainer' but there are still a lot of stereotypes and misunderstanding about disability and our experience is that we play best with modern progressive businesses and managers who have an open mind.
Finally, community awareness. For the past year or so NOVA has worked hard at promoting the overall concept of disability employment and I think we have helped not just NOVA job seekers but the community of persons with disability as a whole. Our radio advertising, newspaper projects, mail-outs, the focusonability video competition, pie-bag promo, bus advertising and general promotion of what our job seekers can achieve has significantly raised the level of awareness.
Those things are reflected in the number of new visitors we receive each day.
If that's you, we would love to hear from you; your ideas, your criticism, your experience and knowledge add to our ability to serve our clients. Both on this page and throughout NOVA's website you'll find ways to get in touch either through this blog, via email or phone - don't be shy, we need your help.
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Making a tough job tougher!
Making a tough job tougher
It isnt easy to get a decent job and its harder to do so if you have a disability.
NOVA employs around 190 people, an effective and experienced team who are able to draw upon a staff of highly skilled trainers and a support program honed over almost 30 years and tens of thousands of participants....
Your Work There was never any doubt in my mind that I would work. My dad told me I would work and there wasn't ever a suggestion that my future held an alternative option....
Not so bad! Taken from: Today's Guardian at 4.09pm Tuesday 7th November 2017:
In a world full of discouragement there’s always a space for good news....
The NDIS mantra is 'choice and control'
To be valuable, choice needs to be informed.
Average Sydney Disability Employment Services placement rates are 34....
It's voting time at "Focusonability" - with a record number of films entered, a tremendous effort by more than 100 High Schools and 19 countries competing in the International section it was always going to be a hard job to pick a winner....
Choice & Control
The NDIS slogans around choice and control demonstrate the importance of consumer involvement in both the choice and control of supports they need.
However, in order to be valuable, choice needs to be informed by accurate data such is this: http://www....
Last week (14-16) it was my privilege to attend the 1st World Supported Employment Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
"Employment for All - A Global Perspective" brought workers from around the globe (primarily Europe) to discuss best practice in supported employment....
Quality and the Stars Quality and the Stars
There have probably been few people more openly critical of the Disability Employment Service (DES) Star Ratings than me.
The Stars, ranging from 1 to 5 are supposed to give some insight into whether a service is a poor or high performing program....
Attended the Disability Employment Australia (DEA) forum in Canberra. THis is a regular get together that offers disability employment services tha chance to be kept up to date from our funding body and also listed to expert speakers on topics associated with the goal of seeing as many people as possible find and keep suitable employment....
NOVAs greatest asset is its staff. I suspect you would struggle to find the CEO of any organisation state their staff are not vital and at the core of business reputation and results....
A corner turned?
We are presently holding events to promote employment for people with disability - nor surprise there, that's our job.
What has been a surprise is the willingness of employers to come along and listen and more importantly, to consider adopting inclusive employment practices across their organisations....
Say No to Quotas!
The pernicious idea that 'quota's' might be the solution for disability employment continue:
Faced with the daunting task of improving the number of employment outcomes with out sacrificing the quality of service delivered to people with disability how have we fared (sort of Year in Review II)?
The number of placements made has seriously improved - up 31% in 2015 and a further 14% in 2016, NOVA operates at at rate of placement better than 150% over 2014!
Whats really exciting is that this has been achieved without compromising on the level of disability that can be supported by NOVA's teams (if anything this has risen)....
Famous last words!
O.K. - sorry that you need to cut and paste: http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/100-million-payday-for-1anhour-staff-with-disabilities-20161216-gtcius....
Not sure if this will be my last blog post for 2016 but just in case, a quick look back at 2016:
Best ever year for total number of placements
Best ever year for long term employment outcomes
Best ever year for Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Best ever year for Transition to Work outcomes
Best ever year for media coverage
Best ever year for 'Focusonability'
Best ever year for Transition to Work (TTW)
How about 2017?
Looking good, so stay in touch and have a terrific holiday, be safe and hopefully Santa will bring you all that you wish for....
Choice is only of value when it's informed (written about this here previously)
I have the numbers for disability employment services (DES-ESS) up till 30th June this year and I am delighted to see that NOVA is responsible for almost 25% of all employment lasting 6 months or more (28 providers) and almost as many as next 2 providers combined....
The NDIS held out hope and promise to people with a disability, the opportunity to exercise choice and control and was heralded as the answer to the prayers of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens....
Latest 'Stars' The effectiveness of Australian Disability Employment Services is recognised through a system called the 'Star Ratings'.
6 years ago NOVA was amongst the lower performing providers in Sydney, at least as measured through the Star's,
Regular readers will be aware of my unhappiness with things that I think are important to people with disability - stuff like, wages earned, hours worked etc....
Best Show on TV Morning All
Sorry you need to cut and paste: http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/802326595536/focus-on-ability-film-festival-2016
Best show on TV - bar none and, if you want to skip my bit I get off at 3:10 and you can get straight to some of the truly terrific films from this year's "Focusonability" short film festival....
Reform There is a review of Disability Employment Services and presently consideration is being given to what might best replace the current program.