The present state of disability employment service in Australia is poor and sadly, there seems little prospect of positive change in the near future.
Here’s a brief synopsis:
The contract for the provision of service is deeply flawed and gaming behaviours have been positively rewarded (and still are).
Many ‘5 Star’ sites simply buy outcomes by offering a 100% subsidy for the period required to achieve time in work ‘milestones’.
This is possible because ‘benchmark hours’, a nominal indicator of a person’s capacity to participate in work are as low as 8hrs a week in employment (8hrs a week x 26weeks @ $20ph = $4160).
The minimum payments the service provider can expect are approximately double this.
Service providers are encouraged to break full time positions to part time roles maximising the financial gain for their organisation while driving their ‘Star Rating’ upward.
Traditional services prior to this nonsense would have been driven by the goal of ensuring maximum participation and consequently aimed high, securing less numerical outcomes but maximising the independence of people with disability.
Redistribution of market share and a ‘participation’ driven purchasing process have seen an exodus of skilled staff, the cessation of innovation and a denial of service to people with more significant disability.
The workers in this ‘industry’ are under constant and real threat of losing their jobs and service unless they perform. The ‘performance’ is NOT maximum participation, rather it is maximum participants.
It requires very strong philosophical commitment and much nerve to resist the pressure that comes from the funding body to get as many people as humanly possible into any sort of job rather than meeting their individual needs and aspiration.
This is a personal viewpoint: Amongst the creators of the present system there appears to be an ingrained lack of belief in the ability of people with disability to succeed or fully participate in work.
Creaming (the practice of placing the most able into work) has reduced the participation of people with more significant disability – comment from this weeks DEA conference, ‘when was the last time you saw someone with Down’s syndrome in a DES outlet’?!
Making real change, ensuring full participation and aiming high to challenge participants are historical fact, but currently absent.
Don’t agree? – that’s cool and you might like to send me evidence to support your belief.
I can show you that overall placements continue to reduce (the ‘cream’ may have been creamed!), 13 and 26 week ‘outcomes are falling, people with genuine disability are either being excluded or abandoned to the tokenism of 6 months created work that neither improves their independence of highlights their true value and contribution.
One final fact: NOVA’s average hours in employment continue to be significantly higher than the national average and more than 20% of all participants either very significantly decrease their reliance on welfare or achieve total financial independence – I believe I am correct in stating the national average is 4% (on this I am running on memory and open to correction).
I think we may have a decent Minister in Mitch Fifield.
Mitch; open challenge that’s easy to run – post the financial independence results achieved for every disability employment service provider alongside the ‘Star’ Ratings offer a trophy for and promote the end of 2015 ‘most independent workers (as a percentage of total caseload)’.
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
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....
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....