From memory our last Prime Minister copped significant flack for a seeming desire to return to a previous better time in Australia's history (if I recall correctly, somewhere in the fifties).
Our present government appears hell bent on a similar course to the possible loss of a most valuable resource: Australia's Disability Employment Network.
Quick history lesson:
Once upon a time people who had a disability couldn't access the Commonwealth Employment Service (a 'one-stop shop' and the only national program to assist unemployed people into work). People with a disability received the 'invalid' pension (play around with where you put the emphasis in that word and you'll get an idea of my direction).
Along can the Hawke government with a most enlightened Minister and a reform agenda that included empowering people with disability.
The 1986 Disability Services Act was passed and opportunity for participation became available to 'invalids'. Not initially through the CES but through small community based programs that specifically targeted those most in need. There came to be many small specialist programs with expertise, often shared freely, in specific areas, disability type and need.
Unfortunately an 'industry' was also born.
The Hawke government becomes the Keating government and moves are made toward the privatisation of employment services.
1986 - 1996 Disability employment in Australia grows and develops a unique innovative response to consumer needs
1996 The Howard government is elected and turns the delivery of employment services over largely to the private sector (incidentally and for transparency), I made some money out of this for which I was and am most grateful).
The Howard government stick it to disability employment programs and pull the guts out of the funding available.
The net effect is to reduce the numbers and level of disability that can be effectively assisted.
2006. The Howard government turn to the government (theirs and previous) created disaster of the former Invalid Pension now the Disability Support pension (governments of both persuasion used DSP as a parking place for long term unemployed persons) in which some 720,000 people have been placed.
The small 'industry' of disability employment is moved from the person focused Department of Family & Community Services to the compliance focused Department of Employment & Workplace Relations.
DEWR seek to come to terms with their new charge through the application of the same processes used in the private 'for profit' Job Network.
An incalculable amount of time, energy and resource is spent ensuring compliance.
Additional programs (Vocational Rehabilitation Services) are added and opportunities exist for service expansion. This, coupled with high employment, attracts for profit players into the disability 'industry'.
Despite the best efforts of organisations involved in the delivery of service participation drops by almost 10,000 persons.
2007 The Rudd Government is elected and a New Minister is appointed (Brendan O'Connnor).
Nothing much changes.
The 'Star Ratings', a use free nonsense that bear little application to fact, are slated for use in the growth and distribution of future employment places.
Quick break and a question or 2 for my critics: If the Star Ratings are so good, why scrap them? If they stink, why use them? If the Star ratings are so hot, how come they don't have a measure to acknowledge junior rates? Surely this penalises those programs that work with younger job seekers (like NOVA!)?
The Job Network is put up for tender and replaced with Job Services Australia.
The process is designed to simplify the administration of the programs funded by DEEWR and results in 'one-stop shops' through which taxpayers funds are provided to a progressively smaller number of players. DEEWR craft their responses to the outrage that follows the loss of perfectly good programs and their replacement with new and overseas programs.
2009 DEEWR flag the replacement of the Disability Employment Network through a 2 stage tender process.
What does the future hold?
Unless we speak out against this nonsense the world beating Australian Disability Employment Network will be assimilated into giant employment conglomerates with little or no interest in the individual needs of job seekers.
For what it is worth my opinion is that this government is unable to rein its super-Department in. The process grinds forward following an economic rationalist agenda set a decade ago.
The Minister (O'Connor) has just moved on and a new man (Mark Abib) appointed - we'll need to wait and see whether he's capable of halting this madness or not.
It looks to me like we are heading for a pre 1986 world at high speed.
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
When Government Star Ratings seem designed to celebrate the ordinary, it is a pleasure to be able to share a terrific piece of selfless effort on behalf of others....
Whats wrong with Employment Services II? What's wrong with Employment Services II
My mum used to frequently admonish my brothers and I with the words, 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try again'....
Whats wrong with Employment Services? There's rumours of a shake-up in the Job Active program - word is, the program isn't making a real difference and employers don't like it!
There's plenty of evidence to suggest that, despite the best intent of Government and funding body, the Disability Employment Service (DES) is similarly in the doldrums....
I need you! Comrades
NOVA needs you - we are very keen to enlist new members of our organisation.
Here's what you need: the patience of Job, the strength of the Hulk, the wisdom of Solomon and a selfless devotion caring for the needs of others worthy of Mother Teresa....
Tragic Loss People with Disability lost a true champion last Wednesday with the unexpected passing of a truly great man, the Chief Executive Officer of Inclusion Australia and a dear friend Mr Paul Cain....
I'm giving fair warning of my intention to expose examples of the current DES-ESS contract's exploitation.
I have written to the Commonwealth expressing my concerns about clear manipulation of the present contract....
The new contract for Disability Employment Services (DES) will not bring performance improvement.
Government will scratch it's head, blame the economy, blame people with disability, talk about educating employers and spend money on consultations before coming to the conclusion that people with disability must meet more stringent 'mutual obligations'....
Each year, around about the International Day of People with a Disability (IDPwD) NOVA Employment holds a formal graduation for students that have participated in our pre-employment programs....
Profiting from poverty
Profiting from Poverty
I am genuinely horrified by this disaster: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/02/the-demerit-system-is-ruthless-social-policy-designed-to-keep-the-poor-powerless
I believe that we presently represent the job hopes of around 1500 people, in various stages of their progression to independent employment....
New Contract but no change!
New Contract but no change!
Today marks the first day of a new Disability Employment Service (DES) contract.
There are new players and new rules....
'It's nice to be busy' and 'busy is better than idle' and all of my mum's other sayings about work being good for you, and all of them said; we're drowning!
The administrative burden of a new Disability Employment Service contract (starts July 1st) and the mountains of paperwork required for an NDIS dollar (approximately 10X that of the former TTW program) has seen us add 3 extra staff to the admin team and we are still receiving a large volume of enquiries that are causing us some time delay in getting back to folk....
Podcasts I've been learning all about Podcasts (I suspect that this may be a long road!)
However, getting paid to be inspired is not the worst way to spend a Monday afternoon and that is just how my day has gone....
I am truly fortunate to work with the very best people in this great nation and we are truly lucky to be part of the best short film festival this side of anywhere!
"Focusonability" voting starts today and there is an even larger number of films (287) than last year....
On the money Sometime over the next week a new Disability Employment Service contract will be announced.
We are moving into a new world of greater consumer choice and greater mobility of job seekers....
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....