Tonight on ABC's 4 Corners program there is an expose on the systematic abuse of job seekers that has been fact for more than 16 years.
Disability Employment is being dragged into similar disrepute as no action is taken to prevent further distortions similar to those (read the back posts) I have been going on about since this blog started.
Don't know what's on the 4 Corners show but recommend everyone that is concerned about helping Australia's most disadvantaged citizens find real work, stop and take a look.
Example I have raged against and on record since 2005:
Question to Minister at agency forum: 'Minister, doesn't this scheme encourage providers to break jobs into small parcels of employment? In return it seems they will receive 5 times the funding and 5 times the recognition in Star Ratings?
Response from Minister (to me) ' I think we can rely upon the integrity of service providers'.
His words brought laughter from the audience and they have brought misery to those trapped in the ineffective employment programs that have taken the shine from what were formerly world class disability employment programs.
By international standards we now perform poorly.
It does NOT have to be this way.
My words aren't a call to shoot the incumbents!!
Ministers Scott Morrison & Mitch Fifield look after Disability Employment Services.
Disability Employment Programs aren’t making much of a difference in the lives of people with disability.
To then say; ‘therefore these Ministers are to blame’ is an easy follow-on.
The problem is, they ain’t!
I don’t want this to sound like a party political broadcast and here’s the facts:
Mr Morrison has only been in this role a short while and both he and Senator Fifield strike me as really keen to make a difference, willing to go out of their way to assist in the process of change and sincerely keen to find out what works.
They have inherited a serious problem: the commoditisation of people in a process that feeds on misery.
Service provider ‘A’ places person with disability into full time employment, freeing them from stigma of welfare and providing business owner with invaluable business asset - integrated effective worker.
Provider ‘A’ scores ‘1’
Service provider ‘B’ takes same position, carves into 5 x 8hrs jobs and uses Commonwealth funds to subsidise employment for a little over 6 months. Employer (at best) feels good about being able to help. At a little after 6 months Service Provider ‘B’ assists employer to recycle workers and gain entitlement to further subsidy.
Provider ‘B’ scores 5 and has 5 more on the way.
That’s 5 times the money (that’s OK, it’s just manipulation of an ill-considered contract by bunglers). They take that money and clench it tightly to their chests, bleating that the Commonwealth should do more to promote their ‘service’.
What’s worse is that this sort of behaviour has a destructive effect that goes beyond merely crushing morale – Provider ‘B’ scores 5 times as much in the ‘Star Ratings’.
This means at next contract time ‘A’ is under threat and ‘B’ gets rewarded.
I’ve been going on about this for years – no one listens.
The disaster we have now we have brought upon ourselves.
Our Ministers are reasonably new. Rather than engage in a blame game we need to set Key Performance Indicators that mean real change for unemployed people who have a disability – that’s exactly the same as anyone else wants; a real job with prospects of security, personal development and growth. Enough money to escape the stigma of poverty or at least make a meaningful difference in day to day matters.
Set the markers for judging performance at the return delivered and that includes promotion of the skills and abilities of people with disability – surely there’s no need for charities to stash millions and millions of dollars in assets – use these instead to promote the cause??
I don't think these programs have bad leadership at a Ministerial level, and now these gentlemen have a chance to make positive change that brings real improvements in people's lives.
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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.