My apologies for such a long break between blog entries.
In no particular order:
1. Star Ratings: We have ours and congratulations to NOVA's managers and staff on a fabulous result - well done all - a mixed bag of 3's and 4's and this has to be the stupidest system ever foisted upon anyone! Despite that my staff recorded a great result and showed that you do not have to compromise on quality and customer service in order to get by.
Speaking of which (note this next bit DEEWR readers), during a series of recent interviews for additional staff I received quotes to the effect of, "We are not encouraged to get full time positions" & "You need to make sure employers get every possible subsidy"
This is what you get when policy is set by folk with no idea of the needs of people with disability (and it's what makes the "Star" ratings so utterly pointless). People with disability want meaningful work at award wage and they want to earn the absolute maximum they can. When you have a system that rewards service providers for minimum effort and makes it commercially sensible to seek part time work/split jobs that's exactly what you'll get. The DEEWR system doesn't compare apples with apples - indeed it would not be possible to do so.
However, I do not whinge without an alternative that's fair, suits everyone and would work: reward reduction in Centrelink benefit. This is easily checked, works to move service providers towards genuine quality, allows service providers to specialise and would make so much sense that I am absolutely certain we'll never see it!
2. February placements: A quick public recognition of the magnificent effort of every NOVA team in making February a fabulous months for finding work - we'll have more than 60 new job starts and that's a record for the month and a tribute to the teams dedication and tenacity - well done all.
3. Walgett. Having spent 2 days in Walgett and seen the tremendous job being done by my team while taking part in an SBS 'Living Black' documentary I would again like to make public recognition of the fabulous Café 64 team. We also have become the proud owners of the Café after a protracted purchase process. That means we can get down to some real development work over the next few months and bring the Café up to speed as far as presentation and modern equipment is concerned.
4. Foreign assignments. We have NOVA staffers in the UK at the moment for benchmarking against UK programs. This work is important in as much as it enables us to see whether we are competing at an international level in terms of our service offering for people with disability as well as exposing our staff to international examples of best practice.
5. Me! I placed a person into work during February!!! It's good to see that I can still cut the mustard and I hope to continue this effort in March. I also will be asking every NOVA manager to take part in the job seeking part of our work. This isn't just to support the staff it is also to check our systems, keep everyone centered on the most important aspect of our work - actually finding employment for people with disability - I will keep you posted on our progress.
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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.