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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Review Australia's $1bn disability employment service criticised over poor outcomes and reduced employment - https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/mar/31/australias-disability-employment-down-3-in-past-decade-as-service-scheme-criticised-for-poor-outcomes....
Thank you Mark Zuckerberg (not!) Friends of NOVA may have seen our Facebook page is down - courtesy Mark Zuckerberg NOVA/Focus are victims of much larger forces - no idea when or if we'll be restored - more as events unfold....
They Don't Count Gaining or holding formal qualifications can set a person up for a lifetime career. Holding appropriate qualifications that can lead to lifelong careers, tradespeople generally make a good income and enjoy well deserved respect....
Benchmarks To access NOVA Employment or any Disability Employment Service (DES), almost everyone is required to be assessed by the Services Australia Services (Centrelink) to determine their "Benchmark" hours: Benchmark hours are the pay point for service providers; being the minimum working hours required for the DES provider to bill the Government and the assessed maximum hours a person is deemed capable of working with DES support....
International Day of People with a Disability
International Day of People with a Disability
It's IDPwD and we have a 1 hour 'special' screening on SBS from 4.30 this afternoon.
Our Ryan Goodwin has done a great job of selecting some of the great entries from NOVA's 'Focusonability' short film festival - we love the Festival and hope that you'll love these films, gathered from around the world....
2020 - the first half When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Good! - Now they've left us, let's look at reality - when the going gets tough, many people suffer and dis-proportionally, people with disability suffer more....
Countdown Clock II
What's the countdown clock all about?
It's our closing time and a countdown to the end of a truly remarkable month of extraordinary effort by my staff....
Countdown Clock Regular viewers will have noticed a countdown clock ticking away (above)
What's that all about?
Can't say - you have to wait till 4.30pm (a little earlier for staff)
Just the best 3 One thing we all love is a winner which is why there's a smile on my face it will be pretty hard to shift.
There's a nightmare pandemic sweeping the world (carried off my mum), the economy has tanked in a never before seen disaster that's left more than a million Aussies unemployed and the only news seems to be bad news....
More than Money!
If asked, most of us would say we went to work for the money, to pay our bills or support our family.
All true, and yet work means so much more:
Prior to finding a job with NOVA employment Glenn* struggled to keep jobs for more than a few months and was generally working as a dishwasher in restaurants which he found to be quite unsatisfying work....
Life Changers II
How are you in the mornings (or evenings, or nights)? NOVA is an 'old school' Disability Employment Service - we find work in the general community with identical pay and conditions as those enjoyed by people who dont have a disability....
Life Changers Required! Received yesterday:
I was unemployed for 24 years because of my disability. I was looking for a job for the last 2 and half years. With the help of (NOVA Staff) I found suitable job and working in the law company for last one year....
Don't know about you but I have felt pretty bruised from all the horrible stuff brought upon us by this damn virus - seeing so many folk losing their jobs is particularly awful and the uncertainty generated for everyone, particularly for workers who have a disability is dreadful to see....
Best Ever II
Following from last post:
NOVA Employment has operated for 30 years. Comparing all results from previous years, February 2020 has been our most successful to date - Following on from January that's 2 in a row and every indication March will also be a record breaker....
NOVA Employment posted another 'best ever' result for the first month of 2020.
Despite the most dreadful natural disasters and with many businesses closed for the holidays, the NOVA team delivered more new workers than in any previous January results, beating past 5 years average by 25% and previous (2017) 'best ever' numbers by 5%....
Depressing cracked record!
A good friend will occasionally pull me up with the reminder that I have a tendency to rant, 'rave on slop jaw' if I remember correctly....
Big Win! Saturday night saw a big win for the NOVA team and for people with disability when our Podcast partners NOVA Entertainment- no relationship other than mates - received the following:
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - BRANDED
Focus On Ability; Nova Employment & the Nova Entertainment Podcast Team , NOVA Entertainment
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - UNBRANDED
Hamish & Andy; Hamish Blake & Andy Lee, PodcastOne Australi
Taken from the web: https://www....
Received the following yesterday morning:
Hi Nova, just wanted to give my feedback in regards to my mother getting a job through you guys and the amazing impact it has had!! The job that mum has received has changed her outlook on everything! She is now much more confident in her self and her abilities....
Welfare Benefits and Health
It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's truer that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power: David Brin
DES providers don't need nor should they have been given the authority to suspend welfare benefits (see above)....
I have spoken previously on, to quote former President Bush, 'the soft bigotry of low expectations' - if you are a member of a marginalised group the public don't expect much and are surprised when anything much is achieved!
I've been in this game for more than 30 years and have been privileged to see literally thousands of terrific men and women leave NOVA To gain (and retain) great jobs....