Our Empowermental 2014 research explores the attitudes of 256 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Australia towards hiring disadvantaged people including those who have a mental illness. Six in ten employers (63%) who have hired someone who has a mental illness reported a positive or very positive experience, and 68% of employers who employed someone with a mental illness, still do. Yet, stigmatised views about mental illness and employment, often steeped in fear, remain relatively unchanged.
Clean Force Property Services, a WISE Employment social enterprise, has recently scooped the most prestigious of Australian industry accolades, the Social Traders Social Enterprise of the Year award in the large employer category. Social Traders developed the Social Enterprise Awards to recognise the impact of individual organisations contributing solutions to the community’s most difficult challenges, and to celebrate the breadth of talent and innovative thinking behind their development.
For the second consecutive year, Clean Force Property Services (Clean Force), a WISE Employment social enterprise, has been announced as a finalist for the Social Traders Social Enterprise of the Year Awards – this year in the ‘Large’ category. The Social Enterprise Awards, an initiative by Social Traders, are the only national awards for Australian social enterprise.
Following their efforts of helping end mental illness stigma through comedy for change, the WISE Stand Up for Mental Health comedians were awarded the Special Achievement 'Shine On' Award for Services to Mental Health on 4 May 2014.
WISE Employment is now a consortium member of Partners in Recovery (PIR) in South East Melbourne, part of the Federal Government-funded health reform program that provides wide-ranging support services to people with persistent and severe long-term mental illness. Partners in Recovery will assist people who are experiencing gaps in their services provision and will help them to find the right support, customised to their unique circumstances.
On Tuesday 25 March, 2014, WISE Pakenham, in partnership with CWA Employment Services, hosted its first-ever ‘local jobs for local people’ job fair to match local employers with WISE job seekers. Over 150 keen job seekers attended, along with 15 Pakenham-based businesses looking to find the right staff. Job seekers had the chance to speak to employers directly, and could apply for thirty available jobs on the day.
In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2014, with this year’s global theme being “Inspiring Change”, WISE Employment invited client graduate Megan Powell to share with staff her inspiring story of overcoming family tragedy, mental illness and self-doubt to eventually pursue a new career direction in community services.
Training collaboration between WISE Employment and St Michaels, made possible by funding from Skills Tasmania via the 2013 Skills Fund has resulted in a custom-designed Transport and Logistics training course for job seekers with disabilities. WISE Employment Launceston selected ten job seekers who would most benefit from the course and supported them to complete the six-week undertaking, with St Michaels delivering the training.
WISE Employment's Employment Services Performance Manager, Darrius Caulfield is the recipient of the 2013 National Employment Services Association (NESA) Employment Discovery Grant. The grant recognises Darrius's commitment and skill in the Employment Services industry. Darrius will be heading to Sweden in 2014 with the CEO of NESA to a conference looking at international trends in Employment Services.
WISE Employment, in partnership with the Northern Indigenous Employment (NIE) working group, has won a significant Regional Koori Community Justice Award in the Employment and Career Development category.