PBO Pilot: Systems change starts with grassroots initiatives
Greetings friends and colleagues,
Firstly, we want to say... thank you!
We know that life is currently extremely uncertain, at times heart-breaking, always bumpy and constantly changing with increasing demands on our precious time. We wish to open this PBO newsletter by acknowledging the incredible support of the many WISEs and partners organisations in the sector, without whose active and consistent support, we wouldn't have been able to develop and share such deep knowledge and experience on which to base the program and future programs.
Since our last update, we have been continuing work alongside the Commonwealth Government and the Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) sector to co-design a potential national pilot PBO program.
The PBO Pilot and the Social Enterprise National Strategy (SENS)
The release of the SENS has been energising and galvanising – a roadmap for our sector. We are thrilled to support the SENS through the PBO Pilot in helping to improve economic inclusion and create more opportunities for people to access decent and meaningful work.
We are equally excited by the possibility that through this pilot, the Commonwealth Government will evaluate individual and aggregate employment outcomes achieved by WISEs, side-by-side with other employment initiatives.
For anyone wondering why the WISE sector presents such a compelling opportunity for policymakers to strengthen their ties to the WISE sector, check out the report released in 2020 by Boston Consulting Group.
For anyone looking for more info on the White Box PBO Pilot, check out previous sector updates here!
PBO Principles - making outcomes-based payment approaches successful for WISEs
We know that superior employment outcomes for overlooked and underserved jobseekers are possible at a scale as yet unseen in our sector - but not without reliable, consistent, timely and adequate funding. Working collaboratively and with policy makers requires clear, shared design principles.
The data and experience shared by the sector tells us that 'good' PBO Design Principles include both quantitative and qualitative drivers. Outcomes-based funding programs that are intended to support superior social outcomes must recognise that:
The experience and data shared by more than 40 WISEs confirmed that the estimated average median cost of providing training and wrap-around support is ~$22,308 over 18 months.
- Timing and intensity matters.
The experiences and data gathered via the rate card survey confirms that support costs are highest in the first 12-18 months of a person commencing work in a WISE. As employees re/build confidence, learn new skills and create new networks, the intensity of support (and associated cost) generally reduces.
- Adequacy matters.
Introducing reliable and consistent levels of funding will unlock large-scale impact. The growth of the WISE sector is constrained by a lack of such funding: outcomes- based funding approaches support collective impact at scale for our sector because they give confidence to those working to grow the collective impact of the WISEs more broadly.
- Reliability and consistency matters.
- Supporting individual choice matters.
Employees who choose to seek employment beyond the social enterprise do so (usually) in the knowledge that they have the support of their WISE support team. The opportunity to transition to an appropriate external environment and support to make this possible, comes at a cost to the enterprise that is currently not funded or recouped.
With this in mind, we are working alongside the Government on the idea of an additional payment that could be claimed anytime over 3 years to meet the additional support costs associated with supporting a person who chooses to move on to employment beyond a social enterprise.
Pilot participant numbers - how many?
As exciting as the prospect of this pilot is, we feel the weight of the constraints that mean only a limited number of jobseekers will be able to participate. As a result, we have engaged Swinburne University Centre for Social Impact to assist us with the anticipated selection of this important pilot group. We are in the final stages of program modelling, and look forward to sharing details on this in the next update.
Wondering what happened to your Expression of Interest?
We are grateful to all WISEs that have expressed interest in participating in this, and future, PBO programs. Although places are limited, we anticipate engaging directly with shortlisted WISEs over the course of the next 2-3 weeks to discuss key participation criteria and program parameters.