As the doors close for over 8 Disability Employment Service (DES) providers nationwide, many job seekers have been left feeling more confused than ever, wondering what their next step towards employment will look like. Moreover, while these changes implemented by the government have been aimed at improving the standards of DES across Australia, this has seen 15,000 job seekers in sudden need of a new provider.
If you have found yourself affected by these recent DES closures, you are not alone.
We understand that these are unprecedented times in the industry, and sometimes this can feel daunting as you look towards the task of having to start over with a new provider. From explaining your story for what may feel like the 100th time to growing an organic relationship built on trust with a new employment consultant. These thoughts are all valid, and more than anything, completely understandable in the current circumstances.
At breakthru, we understand that change isn’t always easy, especially when you feel uprooted from what you know. That’s why, we have put together a simplified overview of what these changes will mean in the industry, how you can continue on your employment journey, and most importantly the supports that are open to you as you take this next step.
What has led to this change?
Well, every quarter the government releases a star rating for all DES providers across the country. This rating measures the performance of each provider against a series of benchmarked criteria such as employment outcomes, effective services, and continuous improvement.
In the most recent assessment, over 50 DES providers were found to be performing under the acceptable level. Providers were made aware of these results and given notice of a formal review process in which they could put in place measures to improve performance.
After a qualifying period, many of these providers failed to improve the quality of service delivered to job seekers, and the Department ultimately made the decision to terminate their contracts.
This decision has seen 52 providers lose one or more contracts, with 8 Providers closing down either by choice or as a result of this announcement.
I need to find a new DES provider, where do I start?
Finding and keeping a job is a personal experience, so it’s important to find a provider who you trust to help you reach your goals. We suggest that you take a little bit of time to research your options, but here are a few things to look for in a DES provider.
You feel that you are listened to.
It can be hard enough as it is to find a path to reach your employment goals, that’s why it’s so important to find a provider who listens and can personalise the service to your unique experience. At breakthru, our employment experts offer free job consultations to chat about your goals and in turn personalise our DES service to meet your requirements.
Their supports align with what is important to you.
Have you heard of a specific support that you are interested in? Or are you passionate about learning a new skill? If so, it is important to find a DES provider that has experience in these offerings. From assistance in using public transport to resume building, breakthru offers a vast range of capacity building supports to help you enter the workforce.
You share similar values.
Whether you are an advocate for better rights in the workplace or just share a belief that people are worth more than their experience, it is important to find a DES provider that shares your values. We not only believe in seamless inclusion for people with a disability, we believe in our customers, we know that with the right supports our customers can do anything they set their minds to.
They have community connections.
Do you have a particular organisation or industry you would like to work in? If so it’s integral to research your DES providers current opportunities and chat with a consultant to find out more about their previous work. At breakthru, we have a broad range of roles in the industry that we regularly connect our job seekers with and are always happy to reach out to specific businesses on request.
You can access support when you need it, where you need it.
It’s important to ensure you can access the supports you want when and where you want them. For us this can look like meeting with a job seeker once a week and attending their workplace for support, our participation in your employment journey evolves with you to ensure you are receiving the support you need to thrive.
To begin your search, visit the JobAccess website, enter your postcode and select a service type to get a list of providers in your area. If you wish to find out whether breakthru services your area, make sure to pop our name into the provider name search engine or give us a call today.
I have chosen my provider, what now?
Once you have made your decision you can call the National Customer Service Line at 1300 854 414 to transfer to your new provider. Your new DES provider will then reach out to arrange an appointment to chat more about what your goals may be.
All mutual obligations will be suspended between the 22nd of August 2022 and the 23rd of October 2022 so that you can begin working with your new provider.
A bit about breakthru
breakthru has been supporting people with disability for over 25 years, helping 1000s of Australians to access the services they need to live their best life. With over 23 offices located throughout Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, we are committed to improving the lives of the people we support.
We are proud to provide a personalised and goal-orientated employment services, where our customers are at the forefront of everything we do. So, whether you are need long term assistance through Disability Employment Services (DES) or short term help via Disability Management Services (DMS), we can assist you in finding and keeping a job that is right for you.
As our passionate team continues to support the community, we look forward to helping you to prepare, obtain, and keep employment while we advocate in the workplace to ensure that both you and your employer feel supported.
Our current employment opportunities
At breakthru we know how important it is for customers to find a job that fits their personality, goals, and experience. That’s why we partner with brands of all different shapes and sizes!
Check out a few of our current positions.
Meet Malcolm, our jovial hard worker!
This is Malcolm, one of the easiest going blokes you’ll ever meet. With a can do attitude and a knack for hard work, you would never know the tumultuous upbringing he faced with his hearing impairment. In 2019, Malcolm was left jobless due to Covid-19, spending most of his time at home with declining mental health.
He knew he had to get back on track, so after a little bit of research he reached out to breakthru about finding a role that correlated with his appreciation for tidiness and his search for a quieter workplace, having previously worked on a factory floor in woodworking. This saw him gain employment with Holy Cross Laundry, a long term breakthru partner, where he has now been working for over two years!
Have any questions?
If you have any questions about choosing a new provider or transferring to breakthru please give us a call on 1800 767 212 or fill in an enquiry form on our website. Our friendly team is always here, so if you are feeling confused or just need someone to talk to please reach out today!
Isabella's previous experience in the social services industry saw her passion for the advocation of equality grow, with her work with breakthru aiming to increase the awareness and representation of people with a disability in the community.