Nia Parker

My daughter is in open employment, paid at the award rate. Her DES found her the job in August 2020 and helped her learn her tasks. Once she had mastered those tasks, support dropped to a fortnightly, short visit or phone call. For the past 9 months I have asked for the DES to provide more support because the employer wants her to learn different, more complex tasks and doesn’t have the staff time to teach her and support her while she becomes competent. The DES are unable, or unwilling to do this as she is not a new employee and so is only eligible for a fortnightly visit.
I asked at my last planning meeting for funding under “Finding and Keeping A Job” and was told that she doesn’t meet the criteria as she is capable enough to be supported by a DES. I am now employing a support worker under Social and Civic Participation to be an employment mentor so she can learn new skills and develop her workplace capabilities.
My daughter is a capable and valued member in the workplace but requires extra help to learn and master new tasks which she can then do independently. The current DES model does not seem to allow for this…the focus seems to be on getting the job, keeping it for the subsidy period and then a basic, low level monitoring. After 6 months it looks like a ‘tick the box’ process with little focus on upskilling or further training. This is frustrating for both my daughter and the employer who is confident that she can learn these new tasks and potentially increase her hours of work.