Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

DES - What is the government doing

19 Nov 2012In the middle of the year NOVA and many other Disability Employment Services put in a tender with the Government to keep and expand their outlets. The tender was a massive project which consisted of many weeks of 18 hour days.

At the end of October the government's decisions were given and to say that the outcome was a shock is an understatement!!!

Instead of giving NOVA the okay to establish more outlets in much needed areas, outlets were withdrawn and not only have many employers at NOVA lost their jobs, but also many clients have been told that NOVA is no longer their service provider and that they will need to go to another service provider.

It is not only NOVA that has been affected by this decision, other Disability Employment Services have been cut substantially or completely shut down with more than 35 000 clients being moved to other services.

You are probably wondering where the 35 000 people will be going – well, the government has decided that it would be more profitable to give funding to American Disability Employment Services that have a one stop shop that can offer a bit of everything instead of the specialised service that NOVA and the like provide.

As a client they will now put you in a job they have available on their books, for the minimum hours you can work so they may even fit 4 of you in the one job and you each work 8 hours a week. The support will be minimal and if you don't work out you will be put in the ‘too hard' pile and job seeking will end for you.

Nice to know the government is looking after its disabled job seekers and workers isn't it? NOT!

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Previous Comments

Helen from Adelaide posted on 9 Jan 2013
Hi there...I had been told by centrelink many many times that as a skilled person with a disability and an ability to work 8-15 hours I could get help going into a job right away for the hours I felt capable of and at any time, I could stop. Awesome I thought...! I can feel useful again and help out with money a bit more as my husband earns lots of money see (Salary $50000pa 60+ hrs s wk) and so I get a small proportion of the pension. Yep... with my treatment and pharmacutical costs plus general living expenses, we are just getting by but it would be nice to be able to save, and actually save not just save to spend it on car services and house maintenance, but for something like a holiday... So yep, walk right in and get a job. YEAH RIGHT!!! I was told by the agency I had to sign a contract locking me into their 'help' for 2 years, and I had to work 15hrs a week for at least 6 continual months otherwise they would not take me on. I said hang on, I'm assessed at 8 to 15 and considering my condition I'd like to start back at 8. "I'm sorry but our system doesn't accept ranges of hours so you are entered at the highest you are deemed capable of. If you can't do that you need to get reassessed. I'm sure you could do 15 hours a week for 6 months, you could do that then just study for the rest of the time! Besides that, we don't find you the job, we help you get the skills and give you the confidence and contacts to get yourself out there again. Besides you have to understand most employers won't want someone who can only work 8 hours a week. Have I thought about volunteering?" I was flabbergasted and slightly confused, I said I'm 30 years old, I have worked as a music photographer, a graphic designer, an Administrator (system, database and office) and have qualifications in these, why do I need more skills to get work? I volunteer my services for people all the time, I'm trying to get paid for my skills now. You are paid by the government to help me find work aren't you? "Yes, but only if you complete the 2 year contract". I then mentioned we were looking at starting a family in the next year and with that the interview ended with the comment of "get assessed to do a flat rate of 8 hours a week then we'd be interested and that I should just stick with doing what I am now (designing and photographing things for bands I know, friends and family) until we have a family. Come back when I was ready to commit to 2 years and their approach." She then gave me her business card and said "call me though as I have some design work for you." Um no thank you!!!I think I will try to find my own job thank you! It seems that is what I would have been doing anyway!!! So much for help...

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