What a great week at NOVA!
We held our regular staff induction training program for about a dozen new staff - this mob looks like they'll do well and will be a great help to the rest of our team. There are additional workers for a number of outlets and, with our growth continuing, we are already looking for extra team members - if you want the low down cut and paste this into your browser: http://www.novaemployment.com.au/workingForNova.asp
This week also saw our television campaign kick off in Sydney and this has already generated some interest in our work.
it's a real shame, and somewhat strange, that people who receive the DSP can't be easily referred to us - there's a national 'cap' of about 50,000 places and essentially the program is full - but people who frequently have less obstacles to employment can come right on in.
Our government (bless 'em) have promised to sort this out early next year and should be congratulated for their initiative in opening up opportunity - now if the date for allowing acceptance could be moved forward.....
Which brings me to an idea that I have been pushing around for a bit.
Programs like NOVA get paid to take people on board, paid for assessment and paid regular sums for a period of time with extra payments for success.
In the present economy I don't think that's the most effective way and so I have a plan and here it is:
There are presently some 720,000 people in receipt of the DSP (Disability Support Pension).
Many would like to earn an income and the Rudd government re-introduction of a 2 year safety net for persons moving from DSP to employment provides an excellent framework within which such persons may test their employability.
The problem (presently) is that the capped program is full so DSP recipients can’t access a spot.
Here is a simple idea that will provide a safety net and enable the movement from DSP to worker for a much greater proportion of welfare recipients.
The following only applies to persons in receipt of DSP and is outside of the existing capped program provision (which I believe should remain in place as a safety net).
1. DSP recipients may sign up for service with any employment service provider and may sign with multiple providers.
2. Service providers receive no payment for signing such persons up, and no payment for screening, assessment, pre-vocational training, all of which are at the employment provider’s expense.
3. Upon receipt of first wage cheque following employment (regardless of value) service provider receives a payment.
4. At 4 week continuous employment the service provider receives either; A further payment, either fixed sum or a sum set by a combination of wages earned / reduction in benefit
5. At 13 weeks continuous employment (greater than 15 hours a week) the service provider receives a further payment and a further/final payment at 26 weeks of $X or a sum set by a combination of wages earned / reduction in benefit.
6. Initial eligibility and subsequent payment verified through Centrelink.
There would need to be some checks against related entity employment and possible some other measures to protect taxpayer’s investment. However, in this proposal the Commonwealth only pay for results, risk remains with the service provider and no one can complain that existing services have been reduced.
This proposal removes the present situation where programs that split jobs into many part time positions, receive better credit and recognition that those that do the right thing and provide a single full time job* (don't bother me with any claims of 'client choice', while some folk only want part-time, the majority of people want and need to earn full time wages)
No need to tender – all existing PAGES (that's providers of Australian Government Employment Services) could be invited to participate and make a commercial decision on that basis – if you make a quid, great. If you don’t it’s either telling you something about your offer or the local labour market.
All the numbers are nominal and NOVA Employment would be happy to pilot a program to see what happens.
There are gaps in the above (for instance issues related to episodic illness) but nothing that's unfixable and, in an economy where work is going to be harder to find and money for programs will be tighter it is a cost effective, simple way forward
Probably means we won't do it!
* At present (yes, you should take this up with your local Federal member) any employment above either 8 or 10 hours a week equals 'an outcome' for which the employment service provider earns a payment equal to an assessed level of disability.
If a person is offered a 40 hour a week job and takes it, that's '1'.
If a service provider divides that same job up and offers employment to 5 people in 8 hour shifts (say a day each) that's '5'.
I raised this dishonest inequity with the Federal government nearly 5 years ago and was told 1. Service providers wouldn't do that, and 2. We'll put steps in place to stop it.
Here's the truth: 1. Yes, they do and DEEWR staff encourage this practice (it makes them look good too) and, 2. No one has done anything. This is why services can receive statistical "Health" Checks that show higher wages and higher hours worked, but get a lower rating than their competitors.
Wake up! people who have a disability are getting short changed.
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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.
NOVA needs you - come and join us
NOVA needs You!!
Wednesday 2nd November
Short notice (so really appreciate sharing) and we are holding an information session for potential new workers in a variety of roles within NOVA....