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'.
Can people with disability be better serviced and can performance of DES providers make more of a difference through actual effort rather than changing the way statistics are captured?
Thankfully - yes!
However, that's never going to happen all the while present practice remains unchanged.
Significant improvement for service providers could be achieved through the creation of carrots as well as stick (the present 'carrot' is survival). DES providers get plenty of 'stick' - censure for slow response, recovery of funds for insufficient documentation.
The new contract has seen the addition of 2 extra staff just to keep up with 'reduced red tape' - the doublespeak that accompanies the onerous latest changes
Step 1: low cost incentives
Like an annual 'best performer' challenge, include a monthly update on overall performance measured against a transparent annual goal.
At present there are no numerical KPI's available that might suggest expected performance. Management 1:01 'how many by when?' is an alien concept. Rather what happens is retrospective punishment (the Star Ratings) that are too little, too late.
Step 2: Mutual Obligation
Reduce the pressure of financial penalties for job seekers deemed to be non-compliant.
The DSP is a poverty level payment, taking away what little people have, particularly for people as at risk as our fellow Australians with disabilities is, frankly 'Un-Australian' and worse, it doesn't work! Instead those with disability frequently are forced to accept their fate and do with even less than the pittance they subsist on.
Step 3: Gaming
Crack down on contract gaming (and do so quickly for goodness sake) The 8hr automatic benchmark for DSP recipients fails to recognise and encourage greater participation leaving people with a disability trapped in small hour part time employment on eth fringes of inclusion rather than protected in it's heart.
I am not the aharpest tool in the DES shed and so if I can identify opportunities to exploit minimums for maximum performance recognition you can bet others can to.
Step 4: Encourage better performance
Qualify providers against meaningful measures that make a difference in the lives of people with disability. Stuff that you think might count for people in receipt of the DSP; hours worked and wages earned don't count.
Ask me why the Australian workforce has become casualised!
14% of all jobs found by my organisation are as Apprentices and Trainees - great career development roles? Not of us, they don't count toward our Star Ratings because my staff go back to employers and develop the roles occupied by former job seekers and, since this didn't happen when the job was negotiated, they aren't included in any figures or as part of NOVA's performance.
This denies every party recognition and suggest people with disability are less capable than they in fact are.
And I could go on - but all of the things I have said are simply t
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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....