New Joint Venture to Boost Employment for People with Disability
1 May 2018 at 5:21 pm
A leading commercial employment provider is teaming up with a not-for-profit disability services group to maximise social impact, by creating a joint venture providing better outcomes for job seekers with disability.
Employment services provider Angus Knight Group will collaborate with NFP Life Without Barriers to launch JobLife Employment, a joint venture offering individually tailored support to partner Australian employers with job seekers with disability.
The new entity will provide Disability Employment Services (DES) later this year, after winning a major Australian government tender for DES.
JobLife will become one of the 10 largest DES providers in Australia, creating opportunities for thousands of job seekers facing barriers to employment.
LWB CEO Claire Robbs said JobLife will combine her organisation’s extensive disability services experience, with the highly-rated disability employment services experience of AKG’s Jobfind Centre business.
“JobLife will be a fierce advocate for job seekers around the country and our collaboration with Angus Knight is a great example of what can be achieved when two committed organisations join forces to improve the lives of people in the community,” Robbs said.
“People with disability who find sustainable employment benefit from greater independence, increased self-confidence and a number of other positive impacts such as improved overall well-being and social participation.
“We know there are thousands of job seekers eager to find work. They just need support, and I am delighted that our partnership with Angus Knight will expand our service offering to employment services and create more choice and control for people with disability to find and thrive in sustainable work.”
Angus Knight CEO Michael Hobday told Pro Bono News that the partnership would create “a really good offering” for the government in the disability employment space and most importantly for job seekers and employers.
“We will use Life Without Barriers’ considerable expertise in dealing with people with severe disabilities and conditions that require specialist treatment,” Hobday said.
“Jobfind is a specialist in the disability employment sector, particularly in welfare to work arrangements. And by combining the two, and with Life Without Barriers’ footprint around Australia, we can provide a service in just about every major regional and capital city location in Australia.”
Hobday said this first-of-its kind joint venture would be able to create social impact in a way that was not possible without collaboration.
“We want to be first around achieving the goals of providing more holistic service to people with disabilities rather than just doing one program or another,” he said.
“And by providing more holistic services around helping people find work but at the same time helping them with their individual challenges, we believe that’s a first in this arena.”
Hobday added that he recognised the growing expectations around a business’s social impact and supported the idea that social impact should be part of a business strategy rather than just an afterthought.
He said social impact would be at the heart of JobLife Employment’s work.
“This is at the heart of what we are trying to do and from our point of view the social benefits going back into the communities will be around developing strategies that solve a range of issues,” Hobday said.
“And I think that we’re also looking at how we can provide services and resources [working with] community groups… by finding and identifying people with a disability and working out how we might work together to holistically solve their issues.
“Because in regional areas, there’s a lot of community groups who do excellent service but what we’re trying to do is work out how we can identify their services and our own, and then bring them together.”
JobLife Employment will operate across 26 employment services areas nationally, with a presence in 35 locations.
The company will open its doors to participants on 2 July.
JobLife CEO Anthony Parsons said he was pleased the new joint venture would be able to tap into more than 40 years of combined experience between LWB and AKG.
“We know that people who are looking for work want to be treated with respect and receive genuine support to unlock employment opportunities, and equally, employers want great staff matched to the roles they have available,” Parsons said.
“JobLife is well-positioned to do just that, as a collaboration between two person-centred organisations built on values-driven culture and meaningful impact.”