The UK current affairs show Panorama has run a story that highlights the failings of the UK's disability employment programs:
"Only half of all people with a disability are in work. Panorama investigates if one of the government's most ambitious welfare reforms, costing billions of pounds, can solve the problem of disability unemployment. Reporter Sam Poling reveals the private companies who are getting rich from the new reforms despite only being able to get a small fraction of disabled people back to work, and speaks to the charities who feel the most vulnerable in our society are being failed".
Our systems are no better. The recent funding round administered by DEEWR and under the auspice of a government supposedly committed to social inclusion simply removed some of the most dedicated agencies while expanding multinational and the presence of 'for profit' players (there's tons of nonsense about there being less 'for profit' presence - don't listed, ask instead about the coverage that's been given to the larger programs - yes there are less of them but boy, do they have the business.
Some good changes have been made to the performance measurement tools proposed for the new contract period and speed to placement (a meaningless measure that worked against people with higher levels of disability) has been dropped and a new measure of employment at 52 weeks introduced
Its a shame that those services that actively sought people with higher levels of disability and those that prided themselves on long term job retention are no longer able to participate!
Here's what's needed:
Measure post subsidy job retention & reduction in pension benefits and appropriately reward these and the employment and participation rates will improve - continue to use meaningless measures, fanatical audit of irrelevant data and other performance muffling nonsense and we will find ourselves in the same position as our UK cousins - billions spent and bugger all achieved. There are no intrinsic reasons why Australia should languish motherless last on international measures of participation and social inclusion.
Remove the barriers and we'll get the job done (it will also cost less - truly!).
P.S. The link above doesn't allow you to view the Panorama show - all I could get was the highlights - if anyone knows a better link please forward me?
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