Job Futures growth in 2014

Caseload commencements over the past 12 months have totaled 68,818.

The Job Futures network has helped an extra 16,182 people since last year as our provider network grows and more job seekers choose our service. This increase also reflects the economic downturn. The breakdown of the caseload is:

JSA: 8,447
DES: 7,713
Access: 2,658

(Source: JSA and DES caseload reports 1/7/2013 - 30/06/2014 & Access reporting (as per previous report))

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Job Futures focuses on employment strategy

Hear from Toni Wren, an employment and social policy specialist, who assisted Job Futures to develop our demand led employment strategy which is resulting in job seekers being better prepared to meet the needs of employers.

Demand-led employment strategy

A demand-led program starts with an employer and works backwards to develop a pipeline of employer-led skills training. This means designing and delivering services for job seekers based on the hiring requirements of employers. It is founded on the premise that the better the training meets the employer's needs, the more likely it is that the individual will get and keep the job.

Over the last 12 months Job Futures has focused on improving the way we work with medium to large employers. Historically our strength has been in local relationships formed by our members with local employers in their communities.

Our objective has been to introduce strategies to work with larger employers at both regional and national levels. After researching a number of different employer servicing models, Job Futures has adopted a demand-led employment strategy. The demand-led strategy aims to improve employment outcomes by ensuring the skills development we provide our job seekers meets employer requirements for available positions.

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Employment consultants talk about changing lives

Listen to front line staff from CHESS, ACSO and Marillac talk about how a job can change a person's life. As one employment consultant put it, "jobs are everything - they are life changing".

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Overcoming barriers to become valued employees

Job Futures member Open Minds has worked with a local supermarket to place disadvantaged job seekers into stable employment, at the same time meeting the employer's workforce needs.

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5 keys to success in employment services

1. Effective Assessments - Our Turning Point Assessment seeks to determine the most suitable time to deliver an intervention (e.g. counselling or training) based on an Applied Psychological Assessment to understand job seekers' attitudes towards readiness for employment. This targeted approach brings results.

2. Maintaining Engagement - Job Futures has consistently outperformed the JSA provider average for minimum contacts with clients during contract performance periods. We know the stronger the engagement the more quickly people address barriers and achieve employment.

3. Leadership Program - Skilled site leaders are key to effective delivery of employment services. We invest heavily in the professional development of our leaders. Job Futures received National Workforce Development Funding for our Leadership Program which delivers a Diploma in Employment Services. The program was part of a strategy to address the needs of our emerging leaders in what has become a demanding environment.

4. Online Learning Tools - Staff have 24 hour access to industry training through Turning Point, our online learning resource, with 1,175 resources to date that includes webinars and online tools.

5. Research & Innovation Team - Job Futures runs a research program which includes reviews of international and Australian best practice, stakeholder feedback, and encourages sector collaboration on pilot projects. It also identifies partnerships for research to drive continuous improvement and innovation. An example is our partnership with the University of Sydney, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Wollongong for the study into how formal and informal networks affect employment outcomes for the long-term and youth unemployed. This work is funded under the Australian Research Council Linkage Grants.

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Support leads to new beginnings for Vin

Based in Canberra, Job Futures member Advance Personnel is a specialist employment agency working with job seekers who have disability.

After being forced by her disability to leave employment in the public service, Vin sought to re-enter the workforce with the help of Advance Personnel. A volunteer work placement was found for her which soon turned into paid employment, working in the finance team of community services organisation Communities@Work. "When I first approached Advance, I didn't expect them to help beyond the stage of getting a job... but they keep supporting me and are still doing it now", Vin said. This support includes encouragement around education opportunities, putting a plan in place to finance the purchase of a car, and strategies around dealing with stress.

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Job Futures receives National Standards for Disability Services accreditation

The National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS) focuses on person-centered approaches and promotes choice and control by people with disability.

Job Futures is required to be certified against the new National Standards for Disability Services to provide Disability Employment Services. Certification is achieved via an independent audit on a sample of Job Futures DES sites. The audit consists of client interviews, reviews of client files and a comprehensive review of operational and governance processes. The new NSDS are not compulsory until 2015, but Job Futures wanted to ensure that it was accredited as soon as possible.

The audit was conducted in September 2014 and the result was very pleasing, with zero non-conformities against the 6 standards. We received official notification of our certification against the NSDS in November 2014.

The key benefit of the certification is official recognition by an independent body that our network delivers high quality, person-centered services to people with disability.

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Job Futures delivers results for people with disabilities

Job Futures, one of the largest providers of DES, is currently assisting 7,713 DES job seekers (700 of whom are DES-DMS) in 42 contracts with 149 sites across Australia.

(Source: ACM07 DES Job Seeker Characteristics Caseload (30/06/14); Sub027DES caseload (30/06/14))

A Specialist in Psychiatric Disability

Job Futures works with some of the hardest-to-place job seekers with 31% of our current DES-DMS caseload in Psychiatric Disability (PSD) contracts (source: DES02 30/6/2014). Across our 9 DMS contracts, an average of 51.4% job seekers has a psychiatric disability identified as their primary disability. This figure is well in excess of the national profile of 33.7% (LMIP: DES Outcome Rates by Disability Type December 2013).

We have achieved strong outcome rates for these job seekers. Across our four specialist PSD contracts the average 26-week outcome rate was 20.5%. This is higher than the National 26 week outcome rate for job seekers with their primary disability being psychiatric. (LMIP: DES Outcome Rates by Disability Type December 2013).

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Valuable partnership with Toowoomba employer

Employer AJ Doige from Ability Enterprises talks about how working with Personnel West, a part of Job Futures member Community Solutions, has provided his organisation with a valuable workforce solution.

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Bundaberg's recycling social enterprise

The Bundaberg Recycling and Collection centre is managed by Job Futures mem-ber IMPACT on behalf of Bundaberg Regional Council. 27 workers with disability are employed through the Department of Social Services' Australian Disability Enterprise initiative to work within the facility, and are assisted by IMPACT workers to provide training and support both on and off the premises.

The support provided is not all about work and includes activities such as driver education, living and lifestyle skilling, cooking, computer skills and community access.

8000 tonnes of materials received by the centre each week, where the majority is made into alternative products, with some of the recycled clear coke bottles even returning as work shirts for the centres staff.

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Working with small business Hot Sublimation

Job Futures member Interact and employer Kevin Davy from Hot Sublimation talk about how employing a disadvantaged job seeker has been beneficial to business.

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Workforce development program participants

Hit the Ground Running is a Job Futures Workforce Development Program that offers on-the-ground training within a potential employer's business.

Employer Australian Hearing and participants talk about the experience of being part of the program.

Visit hitthegroundrunning.com.au

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MS Society helps Nina stay at work

Nina Gendell was first diagnosed with MS after the birth of the first of her two children in 1998. It wasn't until 2011 that her mobility started to decline and affect her work as a mental health social worker. Job Futures member MS Society put Nina in touch with an occupational therapist through MS Employment Support Services (ESS) and advised her how to avoid falls. A vertical mouse and different keyboard for her computer were provided that minimised the shaking of her hands.

The most important innovation was a scooter that allowed her to undertake home visits in the community again. With the additional assistance of a physiotherapist and a personal trainer, Nina has been able to stay employed and help people while taking advantage of all the benefits that employment brings. "My job gives me enormous satisfaction. I want to demonstrate resilience to my children. They're teenagers and I want to show them that there's a solution to every problem."

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