I am presently on leave so I have more time for thought and particularly how this organisation (NOVA) might cope with the 'global financial crisis" (I am pushing for a change from GFC to GUYBD which, rather than Global Financial Crisis, stands for Greedy Unregulated Yank Bankers Disaster - although it only really badly affects the poor and disadvantaged so it'll probably stay GFC in our media. It raises an old chestnut of mine (yes, there's a rant coming) - why do we slavishly copy things that have demonstrably failed elsewhere?
The 'gods' of our time are privatisation and deregulation, the reduction of trade barriers and the adoption of a free trade economy.
What and where has this led?
Much as I once yearned for the creation of a workers utopia the present movement was/is (is it still?) supposed to lead to higher employment, greater productivity and a general improvement in the status of the impoverished and disadvantaged in our world - fabby!!
What we have is the majority exposed to the greed of the minority. Huge, unimaginable losses driven entirely by greed and corruption - a corruption not only of the laws that were supposed to protect each citizen but a break-down of the oral fibre and integrity of our systems.
$150b(au) loss at the Royal Bank of Scotland. At 60 million people in the U.K. That's $2500 for every man, woman and child. Driven by anger and infuriated by the incompetence behind the leadership that led to this failure the Board of the bank punished the Chief Executive by sending him packing with a multi-million dollar handshake - that'll learn him.
Meanwhile across Western economies ghost towns of unemployed people are created with whole communities now unable to work and reliant upon the pittance provided through government welfare schemes.
On the fringes the most disadvantaged groups including people with disability. As a second wave of job loss rolls across Australia unemployment rises to 6% and far worse in some States (such as the hopelessly mismanaged NSW) and looks set to rise to 10%.
What to do?
Minister O'Connor ( a seemingly decent chap) is apparently prisoner to his department who, as noted in last piece, are mesmerized by the possibility of reducing their work load by reducing the number of service providers. I note the Minister has made some changes to the proposals for reform of Disability Employment Services (Don't cheer, its the removal of madness not the introduction of sanity). It's still not a great mix.
Here's simple and effective reform: pay providers for results and pay them regularly in milestones. Don't regulate who can do what where ('cos that's silly). Do put everyone on a level playing field - not it's O.K. to get qualified later, only recognise those that are qualified (this refers to QA accreditation. Get out of the way and stop the on-going micro-management of the program. Finally, the suggestions for JCA improvement have been devised by a person in a room with no windows and should be quietly abandoned before they ruin lives and reputations.
That'll do - I'm back at work in a fortnight, be nice if this could be on the table by then.
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