What is the right support? What works?

Inclusion Australia uses a range of words and phrases to describe good employment support for people with intellectual disability. What we mean is employment support that has hard evidence of achieving high rates of job placement and retention in the open workforce.

Hard evidence means actual numbers of people with intellectual disability placed in a job (job placement) and the actual numbers of people supported to keep a job (job retention). Other outcome information may include hours of work and wages per week.

A job placement rate is the number of people with disability placed in a job divided by the number of people who commence with a provider.

If 10 people with disability commence with Provider Y, and 4 of these people are placed in a job — Service Y has a job placement rate of 40% (i.e. 4/10).

A job retention rate is the number of people with disability placed in a job for a period of time. If 10 people with disability commence with Service Y, and 3 of these people are still in a job 26 weeks later — Service Y has a job retention rate of 30% at 26 weeks (i.e. 3/10).

In the evaluation of the Disability Employment Services program, the average job placement rate for people with intellectual disability is 54.3% and the average job retention rate for 26 weeks is 28.7%. About 1 of every 2 jobseekers with intellectual disability will get a job, and about 1 in 3 will get a job that lasts for at least 26 weeks.

For the best performing DES provider the results are considerably higher.

The best DES provider achieves a job placement rate of 92.6% and a job retention rate of 77.8% for 26 weeks. This means that about 9 in 10 will get a job, and about 8 in 10 will still be in employment at 26 weeks.

When we refer to best practice we begin by looking at transition-to-work and open employment providers who are achieving relatively high rates of job placement and job retention.

When we identify providers with high job placement and job retention rates we can take a look at what practices they are using to find jobs, and what practices are being used to ensure the job is sustainable for the long term.

The link between high employment outcome rates and provider practice is important because this can tell us what works and what doesn’t in helping people with intellectual disability get sustainable jobs. 

From this information we can talk about “best practice”, “skilled support”, “best practice”, the “right support”, or simply “what works”.

“What works” makes a difference in terms of increasing employment outcomes, providing value for money, and providing savings to the Commonwealth through reduced welfare and reduced expenditure on more expensive alternative programs.


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