“Some people are having trouble coming to terms with the fact that they are in the employment services market”.
I was told that yesterday.
I am one of these. I thought DEEWR (our funding body) was in the employment services market and I ran a charity that was created to help people who have a disability gain work.
While I realise that there’s an intersection there, there is also considerable difference. I don’t see ‘the disabled’ as a homogeneous group (I realise that they all, or at least 720,000 receive welfare payments). For example, I am embarrassingly ignorant of the needs of folk that are blind, sending all such job seekers to Vision Australia who are just much better at it.
Now, if you are Deaf, that’s a different story, NOVA has a team of highly skilled Auslan signing Employment Consultants who travel Sydney supporting hundreds of job seekers and workers (well done David and team: www.deafjobs.com.au). We do pretty well with a wide range of other disabilities as well and we are just crackerjack at helping young adults with disability transition from school to work.
Government (and I think this is the Department rather than the politicians, who seem to be able to exercise only limited control) want a ‘one stop shop’- they’ve seen them overseas and, ‘if it’s good enough to fail in other countries we should let it happen here’, seems to be the idea ). The proposed disability employment program beginning in 2010 is clearly a step toward integration of the DEN (the Disability Employment Network) into conglomerate enterprises offering all government employment programs (2012).
See, we had this. We called it the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES). It was different inasmuch as it was owned by all Australians and so did not make profit that could be sent overseas, but it was a ‘one stop shop’ that offered all programs.
Not all people with disability missed out but large groups were disenfranchised by the program which lacked specific excellence (like NOVA with people who are blind) or had only local expertise.
Why would we move this way?
Because it’s simpler to administer and cost savings can be made in reducing the number of programs government deals with. It’s at the expense of the most disadvantaged but numerically (and this is very important for its administrators) the program may even increase the number of people it assists.
Is there another way?
Of course, I wouldn't’t have dragged you this far if there weren’t.
Government wants to reduce the number of people in receipt of welfare. For different reasons so do I.
The present political party in charge has promised to remove the cap on the number of persons who can receive help – truthfully and sincerely, well done, great news, vote-winner.
So why then get involved in the administration? This makes no sense and can only lead to tears. Offer a payment for results and simply hang the offer in the breeze. If I, you, or any other person can come along, see an opportunity and earn the payment – let us. If we flourish it is because we do a good job, not because we have skilled tender writers. If we fail, the market has spoken.
If a person or group has specific excellence, can sign up enought people to run a viable program for their special interest or skill they will achieve what the Commonwealth wants by helping these gain work.
Groups of people will not be wandering the streets searching for programs, programs will seek for them (economics in action).
This appears to be common sense.
What protection(s) would exist?
Keep the Quality Assurance program and monitor monies paid out through a cross check with a reduction in Centrelink payments.
This would allow people with disability the dignity of choice, promote social inclusion and, most importantly, it would work.
Common sense – so I doubt we’ll see it, instead there’s grief on the horizon for the most disadvantaged.
Sorry, I am having trouble coming to terms with the fact that I am in the "Employment Services Market".
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