Being a World Cup tragic (I was there for '66 - the last time England spent more than 45 minutes facing the right way) this week I have watched both the Socceroos and England throw 4 years of preparation and hope to the winds. Australia, where's the team of 2006? A team that actually played exciting adventurous football with pace, élan and style - unlucky not to find themselves competing in finals football. England? Same as always, some foolish belief that the foreigner should, in some sort of natural order, simply stand aside while the masters roll past - go Algeria!
AArrgh! 2014 - see you there!
What has this to do with disability employment? you ask (probably a reasonable question).
Everything (he replied, somewhat stretching things) - games are there to be won and you have to play to win. Life, and getting work, isn't always about how you play, sometimes it's about winning - it's about getting the job you want and truthfully, when it comes to getting the job that you want that means preventing someone else taking it from you.
The World Cup teams represent the very best players each nation can put forward.
What about NOVA's team?
We presently have dozens of applicants for work with us and we also only ever pick the best. I have yet to meet any business owner that will willingly take a person he or she doesn't think is the best applicant and employing a person who has a disability is no different. So for my team to win NOVA has to offer candidates that are the best person for their desired role and offered opportunity. That means my staff have to use all of the qualities of any winning team - initiative, determination, skill and energy - they have to attack until the final whistle blows (take note, teams above).
How to achieve this?
Well, this week we are undergoing our annual Quality Assurance audit and, as part of this process, it has been very interesting to review the processes my team uses to support and assist our job seekers to succeed. I have read reams of our material that has been created and is used to measure the quality of the service we offer and I have been delighted to read some of our successes and occasionally saddened to see where we might and should have been expected to deliver a better result.
There's an underlying theme through everything I have read: when we take our job seekers needs first, when we carefully look for employment offers that align the opportunities provided by employers with the abilities and aspirations of job seekers then NOVA Employment is a winning team. When we mess either side up, we don't play as well.
During the past 12 months we have spent a significant amount of time exploring exactly what employers are looking for in the delivery of a winning recruitment service and we have tried to engage our job seekers to ensure their wishes, aspirations and ideas are also part of the programs we deliver.
Here's the point of this post: To be a winning team we need to listen to all the interested parties in the process of helping people who have a disability find work: job seekers, employers, business and consumer organisations, families and supporters of the people we are trying to assist.
If you have an idea, a viewpoint about our program(s), you want to praise or you feel you haven't been heard - call me, email me, smoke signals, semaphore - just don't sit back. There are a number of contact points on this page and, as an old bloke, the very best one is 1800656537 or 0298332500. If I can't take your call I promise I will get back to you and, while I can't always change government policy, weather or fate, I can help you get the very best from NOVA Employment, a team I want to be world champions.
Addition Sunday 20th (early am): Anyone says that was 'the hand of God' dies - we were robbed.!
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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.