Michelle Nunn

Person with disability

Jane Scott is bang on. I am also a jobseeker, on newstart, and I am deaf. I have been with DES providers since Feb 2012. That is, I have completed 2 full ‘programs of support’ both lasting 24mths, and now into 10th month of third. It is true that so called consultants, of which I’ve had many, do nothing that you don’t already do for yourself. A little bit of this and that with resumes and cover letters, no actual jobs offered, and the fact they call themselves “employment service providers” is a joke. The most they offer you is work experience for a few weeks, but that serves only to benefit whoever takes you on. They get paid very well. Or push you into courses, which only costs the taxpayer more wasted money. This leads me to say that these providers are mostly global corporations whose sole purpose is to make a profit for their shareholders. So the notion of them giving us assistance, finding us employment, or at least making us more employable, is beyond a joke. Their bottom line matters much more than you or I. The Government pays enormous amounts of money to contract these providers, who also receive funding for every individual. Will this change? How much are these contracts worth? By giving us more ‘power’ in terms of having more say in employment pathway plans, and in which provider we choose with the option of 3 in a year, how does this give us more opportunity to actually find and maintain employment? It will be the same thing as it has the last few years, just a few choice words and phrases change, but the end results will have no more impact than it has now. And then there is the Prime Minister saying people with disabilities could and should be working, but hey, you could and should be employing ppl with disability instead of passing the responsibility onto the private sector. Do a little research, and you will be surprised at the shockingly low percentage of people with disability employed in the public sector. In saying all that, DES should be scrapped, placed back into Gov hands, where the system cannot be rorted and no company can make the big bucks on the misfortune of your disability. We are all capable and willing to work, but any ‘reform’ won’t change the fact people with disability are and always will be treated differently. Unless the government lead by example, and employ more people with disabilities, then the private sector will continue as they are. Their attitudes don’t need to change if the Government are not able or willing to change theirs.