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E. Improve employment services and supports for people with a health condition or a disability

336 people provided feedback on this proposal.

Level of support for proposal

What we plan to do in 2014/15 and later years:

  • 80 people strongly agreed
  • 166 people agreed
  • 60 people neither agreed nor disagreed
  • 16 people disagreed
  • 14 people strongly disagreed.

The order we are planning to do them:

  • 61 people strongly agreed
  • 153 people agreed
  • 74 people neither agreed nor disagreed
  • 25 people disagreed
  • 20 people strongly disagreed.

Suggested changes to the long term plan

Multiple people supported the design and trial of a new transport scheme to support disabled people who can’t use public transport or a private vehicle to attend work or training and suggested this work is moved to become one of the top-priorities for the long term plan.

A number of people considered interagency work is needed to successfully support people to work and suggested bringing forward the reviews of:

  • specialist supports and services provided by Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to assist disabled people and people with health conditions find and stay in work, and implement recommended changes
  • transition services between the Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Education, and support greater collaboration between young disabled people, their families/whanau, schools, government agencies and providers.

A number of people said that self-employment was a good employment option for some disabled people. They suggested bringing forward work to provide support and services to assist disabled people to become successfully self-employed (where appropriate). One person suggested including the terms micro business and social enterprise in this section.

A number of people suggested including the review of Minimum Wage Exemption Permits in partnership with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment in section G (remove financial disincentives to working). Most people agreed this work was a priority and regardless of which section it sat in it needs to be considered a priority piece of work for the long term plan.

Suggested actions for Work and Income

A number of people suggested that Work and Income need to provide new services and/or funding to support people to find and stay in work. These included:

  • advocacy services to support people to work with employers
  • home visits by Work and Income case managers
  • funding to support people to get their driver’s licence
  • support finding suitable accommodation
  • additional support for transport of people living in rural areas
  • ongoing and long term support for people in work to coach employee and employer and who can go into the work place and sort out any problems early
  • work ready programmes to make sure people have the right skills to get employment
  • additional support for employers that employ people with intellectual disability
  • access to work experience
  • a service where employers can liaise with or go visit other employers that successfully employ disabled people to share success stories
  • more support to people who work part time
  • funding to give disabled people additional sick leave
  • a service that assesses the accessibility (physical and attitudinal) of workplaces as part of matching disabled people to jobs
  • support to develop interview techniques
  • support for people to align their job expectations with the realities of the current labour market.

Other suggestions included the following:

  • Make sure work seminars are accessible and are provided in venues that are close to public transport.
  • Provide support to all levels in a workplace (managers, line managers and colleagues).
  • Focus on improving existing employment services before establishing new ones.
  • Focus on younger people before working with older people.
  • Provide fair funding to contracted employment services. Fund expertise and services provided, not just outcomes.
  • Outsource job seminars.
  • Make sure Work and Income staff are properly trained before providing specialist work seminars for disabled people and people with health conditions.
  • Quality measures around the services provided by employment support organisations need to be determined, collected and publically reported.
  • Incorporate learnings from existing programmes, such as Enabling Good Lives, into the review of transitions services.
  • Better collaboration is needed between contracted providers and government to improve services both ways.
  • Include people who do not meet the Ministry of Education’s ORS criteria in transition services
  • Better education and more training is required to support people to develop the right skills needed to work.
  • Work with NZTA and the Ministry of Transport when developing transport scheme.

Suggested actions for government agencies

Work with the Ministry of Health to align its disability support services and other health services to ensure a joined up approach to employment outcomes.

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