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NDIS Update: New “Innovation” Funding for Care Providers


In a move welcomed by care providers and participants involved in the newly implemented NDIS, Minister for Social Services Christian Porter announced last week that there will be a $4m fund to support providers innovating in key areas of work design and workforce arrangements over two years, starting in 2017.

The new Innovative Workforce Fund (IWF), will be run by peak body National Disability Services (NDS), and will be used to fund innovative workforce projects, with the aim of discovering better business practices and provision of care to recipients.

Michael Hazilias, CEO of workforce management software solution provider, easyemployer, has been working with providers within the Disability, Aged and Community Care industry for the last few years and believes that the IWF is needed to assist care providers to operate successfully in the newly adopted NDIS environment – not necessarily because of the dollars involved but because it will be used to identify solutions and practices that can benefit the care sector across the board. Mr Hazilias goes on to say that the change the NDIS has brought has been massive for care providers and as one of the most important social health changes since Medicare it needs to be given the necessary funding and support to ensure it succeeds.

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It’s commonly cited that care provider lack of ability to cope with the NDIS is because of poor management skills
or not aiming for the highest quality of service but that’s a major misconception. 

It’s more about the requirement for providers to rapidly change a decades-old business model. 

It’s extremely difficult to change tack and many providers are understandably struggling with the innovation
required to make the massive changes required in technology adoption, business culture and business practices.

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Everyone is talking about innovation and how it’s a great thing and a necessary component of success within the NDIS environment but innovating the old care sector business model is extremely difficult – extra funding will help with that but it’s really about educating care providers and guiding them through the process of old to new.

Given that “inspiration” and “knowledge” is just as important as “funding” when it comes to innovation it’s to be applauded that projects supported through the Fund will be evaluated and the resulting knowledge will be communicated broadly to the sector to ensure maximum benefit is gained. It’s very clear based on comments by those administering the Fund that it will be used to support robust projects that everyone can learn from and that can be replicated or adapted across the care sector.

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“Over half a million people are banking on the services provided by the NDIS to assist them to
live their lives and will be severely disadvantaged if this doesn’t succeed.
We all have a responsibility to ensure it succeeds”.

– Michael Hazilias, CEO, easyemployer.

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Assistant Minister for Disability Services Jane Prentice says that “the purpose of the IWF is to stimulate and disseminate new, more efficient and effective ways for providers to engage, develop and utilise the workforce to meet the needs of NDIS participants.”

Grants under the Fund will fall into four streams:

  • Stream 1: Redesign support worker roles and test new work roles
  • Stream 2: Streamlined practices in areas such as human resources, recruitment and retention of staff and work arrangements
  • Stream 3: Use of technology in workforce practices
  • Stream 4: Workforce development in rural and remote areas (including Indigenous workers)

In coming weeks NDS will provide further information about the timing and process for eligible individuals and organisations who are interested in applying for grants.

 

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If you’d like to find out how we can help you simplify your rostering,
time & attendance, award interpretation, payroll, billing and more… then contact us.

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Visit the easyemployer Aged, Disability and Community Care Industry page to see how we help
organisations within the care sector automate their workforce management.

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MYOB selects easyemployer as NDIS tech solution partner
see how the MYOB/easyemployer partnership is innovating the care space.

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