There is a stench of corruption hanging over Australia’s employment services and that smell taints disability employment programs too.
That’s a shame because our Disability Employment Services used to be first class; world leaders in innovation, our dedicated workers looked for new and better ways to help some of our most disadvantaged citizens find meaningful work.
Along the development pathway we learned that there were certain things (a dozen or so) essential for success and that for long term employment the majority weren’t optional.
For many years DES programs have been under the worst of pressures a tight employment environment, a funding body that has not been committed to much more than ensuring it’s own tail was covered in the prevention of possible fraud.
Added to the mix was a group of ‘for-profit’ providers touted as the answer to the easy going NFP sector that had dominated service delivery.
Any fool could see that a for-profit mentality would put the acquisition of profit before service users – any fool!
However, that wasn’t noticed, instead ‘for profits’ were touted as the salvation of the industry, the bright way forward for people with disability and the old programs were either closed or relegated to ‘boutique’ status.
The core elements for success were forgotten on a road to ‘higher performing’ service provision.
This has been a sham and a nonsense.
Now that’s all come undone with both non and for profit providers clearly shown as thieves – exploiting misery for personal wealth and diddling taxpayers out of millions of dollars while they destroyed hope for thousands of Australians.
Complicit in their actions have been the funding bodies who rewarded the actions of cheats with better ‘Star Ratings’ and more business, in so doing driving decent skilled programs and individuals from the industry and thereby compounding the loss of opportunity for people with disability.
I am happy to share my repeated warnings with anyone who wants to see them, these span more than a decade and predict with sad accuracy the present morass.
What to do?
Immediate action is vital – don’t waste time in admitting the error (once done we can all move on) and creating an environment that recognises there are certain things that must be delivered if long term meaningful employment is the goal.
You can sanction programs that don’t provide post placement support. You must separate training providers from programs that deliver employment outcomes, the funding model needs to free people from becoming the property of a sole provider.
It takes about $14,000 (on average) to properly place a person with disability into a full time job – stop penalising providers that take this option – hold them up as heroes instead (in the present environment they are just that).
Try to entice back the disillusioned but so important ‘true believers’ and don’t allow untrained and unskilled staff to further damage members of a marginalised and vulnerable group.
And so I can go on….
It’s time for us to get our government to listen, to acknowledge the lost direction, take the time to listen to what’s needed and then move back to person centred service delivery that actually puts the interests of people with disability first.
Four Corners has correctly shown the state of play – well done and now let’s act to regain trust and credibility.
Would you like a face-to-face meeting with Martin via Skype? Click the button below to make an appointment
Subscribe to this Blog - blog.novaemployment.com.au Copy the link above and paste it into your favourite Reader to subscribe to an RSS feed of this blog. To watch a short video explanation of RSS and how it helps you save time reading the web click here
Your Comments There are currently no comments on this article
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....
Read this article: https://www.smh.com.au/national/no-lights-no-linen-how-alex-survived-for-six-years-on-newstart-20190717-p5284q....
One of the hardest things to do is change a person's attitude - if they are favourably disposed to you, all's well and good - if someone holds a contrary view it's an uphill battle to change a mindset....
Retention Retention, Retention!
Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, something comes along that causes you to stop and to reconsider the way your business is conducted....