Willing to Work submission Pt 1

In place of our regular blogs this week. Mark Glascodine has decided to place up his submission to the Ready to Work inquiry. Due to its length it will be put up in 2 parts.

My focus is on disability employment.

I’m somebody who acquired a disability aged 35 years old, accepted medical retirement at 45 years old, which at the time, made sense. Having retrained in career counselling, and worked with PWD, I’m not so sure now, aged 55 years old.

There is discrimination and I’m delighted you will getting stories and submissions on discrimination. With which, hopefully, you can instigate action, commitment and interest in solving the disability employment problems, over 10 years of no change in results. The biggest change would be to get employers – small, medium and large to actively see a role in increasing disability employment. Their role covers providing work experience as much as providing employment.

My interest is in creating a better, working disability employment system, which is the aim of the “disability employment task force”, and to which I am targeting my efforts. Your work can both raise the discrimination issues to justify focus on solving the problem.

Equally, if the DSS solution for 2018 is not a good one, your work allows discussion and maybe change.

ABS statistics that indicate that 75% of people who get disability before 65 years old, get it between 15-65 years old i.e. working age, the implication is that maybe up to 50% of unemployed PWD were let go by employers. This hypothesis/assumption needs confirmation. The fact that the Government ever backed and funded the “Jobs in Jeopardy” program indicated there must be justification that PWAD have an issue staying at work must be a decent size of the problem to warrant specific action. The problem has been the program structure doesn’t seem to work, approx. 5000 recipients, when 10’s if not 100’s of thousands need help.

Fundamentally, the current disability employment model is about “re-employment”, as everything starts working once you become unemployed.. All research highlights that disabled or not, the second you become unemployed your confidence and skills begin to deteriorate. So my view is that the model should be about avoiding unemployment, if you do get unemployed then the system catches you, but far more effort can be made to minimize chance of unemployment at two moments

  1.  Transition from education to employment at 4 levels, from special, mainstream, TAFE and Uni. Specific solutions for each channel are needed, and for special schools already exist in the “ticket to work” model.
  2. When acquiring disability at work, whether injury or natural. (I acquired mine naturally, no fault of company merely late onset genetically caused).

Posted by Mark Glascodine

BonnieSue Nevin

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