Presently suffering from a combination of bird and swine flu with a side order of SARS (well, that's what it feels like) I am able to both plot, scheme and play. While playing I noticed that an average of 500 people visit this site each day - don't you just love Google analytics? I make the assumption that each of you shares an interest in the employment prospects and challenges faced by people who have a disability.
If that is the case than you are right in the middle of a very exciting time. The economy we are told is in slow decline and this is likely to be problematic for employment prospects for every Australian, not just those who face additional barriers. The next piece of information is therefore possibly going to come as a surprise - we are going 'gangbusters'! So far this year NOVA staff have assisted 160 people to start work. If that doesn't sound like many to you I want you to read it again, this time in the knowledge that last year, during a major economic boom, we managed about 350 people for the year!
How and why is this so? (Do you miss Professor Sumner Miller?)
There are a few reasons that spring to mind. First, a determined person is hard to stop. Our job seekers are very keen to participate as taxpayers - they want to work and are keen to be given an opportunity - that overcomes many barriers.
Next; NOVA has a highly skilled team of employment consultants and these days a very stable workforce. We experienced some growing pains a coupe of years ago, moving from less than 40 staff to well over a hundred. It wasn't that long ago that we recruited 20 new workers and during their training identified a need for 20 more! However, while we are still in growth and likely to continue to recruit during 2009, as a percentage of total staff, our needs are back in control. The present team have stability and our training programs are building and developing their skill base.
Third would be our employers. NOVA's experience is that business owners and managers are open to new ideas (and the concept of employment for people who have a disability is still fairly new) and ready to hear about how such individuals can add to their bottom line. The facts are that a person with a disability can make just as much profit as a person without and often bring significant additional benefits for employers. So working with NOVA staff who have access to more than 1300 motivated job seekers is a sound business decision. I know this 'hey, they'll make you a quid' thing might seem like a 'no-brainer' but there are still a lot of stereotypes and misunderstanding about disability and our experience is that we play best with modern progressive businesses and managers who have an open mind.
Finally, community awareness. For the past year or so NOVA has worked hard at promoting the overall concept of disability employment and I think we have helped not just NOVA job seekers but the community of persons with disability as a whole. Our radio advertising, newspaper projects, mail-outs, the focusonability video competition, pie-bag promo, bus advertising and general promotion of what our job seekers can achieve has significantly raised the level of awareness.
Those things are reflected in the number of new visitors we receive each day.
If that's you, we would love to hear from you; your ideas, your criticism, your experience and knowledge add to our ability to serve our clients. Both on this page and throughout NOVA's website you'll find ways to get in touch either through this blog, via email or phone - don't be shy, we need your help.
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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....