[Sub ID 4686] Disability employment matching and temporary work (Marcia Baron)

Submission ID: 4686
Contact name:  Marcia Baron
State: VIC
Contact email: mbaron@peopleculturesolutions.com
Contact number: 0477553321

About the submitter:

Workforce & service design expert. Trained vocational psychologist. Extensive experience in training, employment, community and disability industries.

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young carers, Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Young people who experience poor employment participation may not have opportunities to develop the life skills needed to succeed in a workplace.

Building employment resilience through experiential learning is fundamental to changing the destructive individual narratives held by some young people that can lead to poor employment participation over a life time. This is a particular challenge for young people with parenting or carer responsibilities, and some students, as they require flexible work arrangements to balance personal, study and employment responsibilities.

Flexible, regular and supportive work is needed to assist these young people over the first hurdle to employment participation. The ability to increase work hours over time as confidence grows will build employment resilience.

At the business end of the labour market we find that employers in some key industries are reluctant to try young and unemployed candidates, such as those referred from the jobactive pool. They cite a high incidence of failure in the first 26 weeks of employment and the resultant churn as too costly, especially if they invest in training to onboard their workers. Negative experiences have led some employers to reject funded employment services in spite of government incentives – a lost opportunity.

What is your idea?
We can translate two current labour market challenges into a win-win opportunity.

The NDIA has forecast significant workforce demand across all of Australia. The opportunity is to match young people who require flexible work arrangements with employers who require more and diverse employees to deliver a wide span of hours of service, including short shifts. The fragmented nature of the disability industry is ideally suited to the early employment needs of our diverse target group but it also makes it difficult for employers to recruit and train workers in a supportive way.

We have designed a third-party transition employer model which recruits and offers participants paid work with a disability industry partner. We envisage the model will either create an employment stepping stone to ongoing work in another sector or become a pathway to a chosen career in the disability sector. Real work experience will have positive long-term impacts for young people regardless of their future career choices. Our model draws on partners in employment services and disability support sectors to maximise current investment and opportunities, create effective continuity of employee engagement, and to build skills, capacity and confidence that will prevent young people from entering a welfare cycle.