The following is taken from the ABC’s “The Drum”: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4090816.html
Disability employment: noble cause, failed policy
Pink batts, school halls, budget deficits, border protection - the list of policy failures from our Government keeps growing. Now we can add another name to the list: the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC) program.
If you have never heard of the NDRC program, you would not be alone. It is an obscure program with the noble cause of creating more employment opportunities for people with disability by supporting large employers like Woolworths, Westpac and Australia Post.
Sounds nice in theory, but is it working? The short answer is no. The long answer is that the program has consistently failed to meet its employment targets, even after those targets have been revised downward year after year.
Now, everybody knows I am a whinger and a Jeremiah and I carp on about failures in government policy and the fact is that the employers noted above and others using the NDRC are brilliant, fabulous places to work that go out of their way to take on board the individual needs of people with Disability.
The failure doesn’t lie with employers
So, then, is the failure’s WorkFocus’s (they deliver the program)?
Nope, they have worked hard to get their program recognised and they try to get as many employers involved as possible.
So why hasn’t it worked??
For the same reason the various incarnations of the same program have failed for more than 20 years – the people that designed it don’t understand the needs of people with disability. Coming from a fundamentally flawed perspective an employer’s needs focussed program MUST fail.
That’s OK, here’s the deal : people with a disability are just that; they have a disability. No put down, no slur intended but each has a disability and therefore they require accommodation in their employment. That can come in various forms but each person is an individual and they need an individual approach to their career development.
Imagine 2 filing cabinets.
In the first cabinet are a list of job seekers and their various abilities/needs. Along comes an employer and offer the service provider a job. The service provider looks at the requirements and selects the person closest to the employers stated requirements.
In the second cabinet is another list of job seekers and their various needs. The service provider takes the first file, looks at the requirements of the job seeker and then goes out to find an employer that can be worked with to design a job that matches the job seekers individual needs.
One fits a person to a job, the other looks to tailor a job to the person.
The differences may appear subtle but they can mean the difference between success and failure for people with any disability of significance.
The danger is that repeating this program and/or similar incarnations will weaken employer support for our disability employment programs. (I actually spoke about this danger at a public forum in 1990!).
This is what works or would work (of course I can prove it, wouldn’t suggest otherwise!):
1. Be really proud of, and have absolute faith in, your product (people that have a disability)
2. Market individual job seekers for what they can do and NOT on the basis of subsidy (foreign owned for profits please read)
3. Use the NDRC to simply advertise the value of our job seekers.
4. Individually tailor the job and duty statement to match employer’s expectations
5. Provide extensive post placement support as required.
Not rocket science, enshrined in Disability Services Act (1996), demonstrated to work and leads to good will from employers and workers alike.
See me for more detail
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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.
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Say No to Quotas!
The pernicious idea that 'quota's' might be the solution for disability employment continue:
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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)
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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....
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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.