Make a difference through employment
There are not many better ways to make a difference in someone’s life, than to offer them employment. The health, social and psychological benefits of work are well documented.
You have the power to make a difference in your local community by considering diversity when looking for staff. Hiring a diverse, local workforce contributes positively to the local economy, both socially and economically.
The good news is that there is a large range of Government programs out there to support you. Here we have listed some providers in your area, and some general guidance on the types of questions to ask service providers to meet your business needs.
All the service providers mentioned below can assist you to meet your diversity goals. Make sure you talk to them about your specific diversity strategy, as they can tailor their services and the candidates that they send you to help you meet these goals. For example, each of these services providers will most likely have people with a disability, Indigenous Australians, mature age, culturally and linguistically diverse, youth, long term unemployed, parents returning to the workforce and LGBT clients within their caseloads.
What do I ask providers?
Remember that providers are funded to provide a service to you. Most of the providers working within the programs explained below are funded under a competitive model, designed to achieve the best results possible. We encourage you to talk to a range of providers, some things to consider when choosing which providers to talk to:
- Their geographical location, and ability to come to you to discuss what they offer
- Their performance and track record
- The support that they provide to you and their clients
- The diversity within their caseloads, and how this meets your diversity goals.
Some suggested things to ask a provider:
- What diversity groups do you have access to?
- Do you have experience placing people in my industry, if so, what is your success rate?
- What support am I required to provide for the worker, and how will you support/train me to provide this?
- Do you have support staff with specific industry knowledge/experience?
- What services will you provide?
- How often will you see or contact me?
- What information do you require from me?
- How long will your support last?
- What incentives are available, what is the eligibility and when/how will they be paid?
Jobactive is by far the largest service funded by the government to help jobseekers and employers connect, at over 1700 locations nationally.
Jobactive providers can help you with:
- Screened and job ready candidates
- Pre-employment training and work-related equipment, if needed, for the jobs in your business
- Support while new employees settle in
- Access to wage subsidies when you recruit and retain an eligible job seeker.
Jobactive covers a large range of clients with varying support needs. Generally, Jobactive jobseekers will not require the specific specialist support provided by DES and WR Providers below, however there are specific incentives and support programs within Jobactive that apply to diversity groups such as:
- Indigenous Australians
- Mature age workers
- Parents re-entering the workforce
- People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
The best way to move forward is to talk to a few providers, and decide which one you think will be best placed to assist you.
How to find a Provider
The federal government funds a diverse group of organisations to provide Jobactive services, these include private organisations, community and non-profits.
To find a provider, the government has provided a search tool. Simply enter your suburb or postcode, choose ‘Jobactive’ and hit ‘Search’. Providers have a Star Rating displayed in the search results, the higher the rating, the more successful they are in keeping their clients in employment for the long term. Higher performing providers will rank higher in your search results.
Disability Employment Services (DES)
Statistically, 1 in 5 Australians live with a disability, and most disabilities are not readily visible. Even as a small to medium employer, it is likely that you already have staff with some type of disability, previous injury or health condition, you just may not be aware of it. People with a disability are under-represented in the workforce, however statistically they are proven to be more reliable, have less time off and with the right support will be just as productive at work.
DES is a federal government funded program that provides employment services for people (Participants) with a disability, injury or health condition. The services that DES provides to employers are free, and include:
- Helping you identify your staffing needs and providing candidates that match those needs
- Developing skills and training activities for Participants which match your needs
- Assisting you with job design for people with a disability
- Providing assistance, Training and information for you and staff to support people with a disability in the workplace
- Providing you with information and assistance to access and arrange incentives, such as through the Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Supported Wage System
- Workplace assessments and modifications, and
- Providing tailored ongoing support to assist Participants to maintain their employment.
How to find a Provider
The government funds a panel of providers nationally under a Grant Agreement, this includes private companies, community and non-profit organisations. Under DES, there are 2 types of provider:
- Disability Management Services (DMS), and
- Employment Support Services (ESS).
DMS – Most people in the DMS program will have a previous injury or a health condition, this could include mental health. People in the DMS program usually do not require as much ongoing support in the workplace.
ESS – People in the ESS program will usually have a disability, permanent health condition or previous injury, and may benefit from ongoing support by a provider once placed into employment. DES Providers are experts in providing this support, and it is provided free of charge to you as long as it is required.
To find a provider, the government has provided a search tool. Simply enter your suburb or postcode, the type of provider you would like to talk to and hit ‘Search’. From mid-2019 DES providers will have a Star Rating displayed in the search results, the higher the rating, the more successful they are in keeping their clients in employment for the long term.
Workplace Rehabilitation Providers (WR Providers)
WR Providers are funded in NSW under the workers compensation scheme by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA). When a person is injured at work, undergoes rehabilitation, but is not able to return to their old position, WR Providers are funded to assist that person to find new employment.
There can be a stigma associated with people who have had a previous workplace injury, however research has shown that people who have had a previous workplace injury are more aware of safety requirements, and their physical limitations, and therefore less likely to be injured at work.
WR Providers can provide a range of assistance, and access to generous wage subsidies. Assistance includes:
- Talking to you about your labour needs, and matching those needs with appropriate candidates
- Providing information on incentives or subsidies that might be available to you
- Assessing a worker’s capacity to perform duties safely in your workplace
- Identifying duties that will support improvements in a worker’s capacity
- Identifying options to help reduce work demands (including providing advice on equipment, job or workplace modifications)
- Identifying and addressing risks that may impact a worker’s recovery at/return to work outcome
- Implementing and monitoring a plan to achieve an agreed recovery at work goal
- Assisting you to claim any incentives or subsidies that might be available.
How to find a Provider
The NSW government has provided a search tool that allows you to find WR Providers in your area, simply choose a region, and click ‘Search’ to reveal a list of providers.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
The NDIS does provide support for people at work, and certain NDIS providers are funded to provide this support. In relation to employment, NDIS services are mainly focussed on assisting people with a disability who are not eligible for government funded employment services like DES and Jobactive, this includes students with a disability who are still studying full time.
The NDIS is subject to change regularly, for more information refer to the National Disability Insurance Scheme website, or talk to a provider in your area. Lists of NDIS providers can be found on this page. It is best to talk to a provider under the Registration Group ‘Coordination of Supports’, and/or ‘Assist Access/Maintain Employ’ in the provider list.
The federal government regularly update employment programs, and add new initiatives. To keep up to date with these changes, we recommend that you visit the Department of Jobs and Small Business website.
The Cessnock City Jobs Portal has been jointly funded by the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund – Community Projects Stream, and Cessnock City Council.