Sunshine Coast Supported Employment Program is founded by a group of parents on the Sunshine Coast to enhance employment opportunities for their children & young people aged between 15 & 25 years with an intellectual disability.
The organisation is incorporated in October & registers the trading name STEPS.
STEPS commences operations as a supported employment agency in March with funding from the Commonwealth Department of Community Services & Health.
STEPS statement of values:
- All people with intellectual disabilities have a right to work in open employment regardless of the extent or severity of their disability.
- All workers with intellectual disabilities have a right to a fair day's pay as have employers a right to a fair day's work.
- Job seekers must play a central role in planning their own careers.
- The candidacy of job seekers with disabilities for any vacancy must focus on their abilities & economic worth to the employer.
- On the job support is the most efficient means of equipping workers with the full range of skills necessary to keep their job.
- Pre-requisites to a successful career are desire to work, support from significant others, realistic career choice & access to on the job support.
STEPS commence operations with a staff of 4 & 1 office in Collins Place, Maroochydore.
STEPS provide competitive employment training, placement & supported employment, TAFE workplace skills training, apprenticeship placements & high school transition support to our clients.
STEPS staff increase to 5.
Objectives of Association are introduced, these are:
- To offer an employment service to an individual with a disability.
- To locate & register people with a disability who want to secure award wage positions in open employment.
- To secure award wage positions in open employment that reflect registrant's career interests.
- To promote the rights, interests & well being of people who have a disability. To provide pre & post placement services that ensure successful long term employment in an integrated environment.
- To assist & support access to vocational training to further enhance the registrants career interests.
STEPS constitution is amended to allow service delivery to people of all ages & disability types.
STEPS Employment is registered & adopted as a trading name.
STEPS office is moved to Fountain House, First Avenue Maroochydore.
STEPS have a total of 57 registrants & 7 staff.
STEPS passes the milestone of 120 placements.
Employment support is made available to people in Yandina & Maleny; a work experience program is introduced to support our clients in gaining job skills.
A partnership with the Endeavour Foundation is formed to provide support for students transitioning from training into employment placements.
STEPS Employment is one of the first organisations in the field of personnel disability services to obtain Approved Training Organisation (ATO) Status through the Vocational Education, Training & Employment Commission.
STEPS previous Objectives of Association become the Philosophy of Association.
New objectives are:
To achieve award wages & benefits for people with a disability that are consistent with those of non disability workers.
To help people gain greater economical power & financial independence.
To provide opportunities for people to integrate with other people both in the work setting & social interaction surrounding work.
To help people find work in a setting that has been established primarily to employ non-disabled workers.
To help people obtain job security, opportunities for job mobility & career advancement consistent with those of non-disabled workers.
To provide ongoing job support to enable people to maintain & retain open employment..
The Supported Wage Program is introduced to further assist our clients in maintaining employment.
Deaf / Hearing Impaired Support is provided through sign language interpreting services resulting in training / placements for people with a hearing impairment.
A joint project is forged with CADET to support participants in Land Environment Action Program placements.
STEPS have placed in excess of 140 people with a disability into employment & assisted 24 to gain apprenticeships.
The Range Project is introduced, providing traineeships for people with a disability in regional Maroochydore & Caloundra.
STEPS employ 14 staff; the Foundation Avenue office is moved to the corner of Esplanade & Second Avenue, Cotton Tree.
STEPS open a new employment office in Caloundra, on the corner of Bullcock Street & Bowman Road; the organisation has 2 offices & 22 staff.
STEPS has 144 participants, has achieved 45 placements in the year & support 40 clients from previous years.
STEPS employ 24 staff.
STEPS Ahead is launched to employ people with a disability, its first contract is the Waterfall Road Cleaning Contract.
STEPS has recorded 89 job starts for the year & are supporting 38 clients in employment from previous years.
STEPS Training record 70 participants are involved in training activities throughout the year.
STEPS staff increase to 32.
A strategic planning process is introduced & the first strategic plan completed, including a new statement of purpose:
STEPS Employment is a not-for-profit organisation which meets a social need by assisting people with disabilities to obtain quality employment opportunities by responding appropriately to their individual needs. We provide client centred opportunities for training, employment & support. STEPS Employment is committed to providing a professional & caring service for all service users, employers, our staff & other stakeholders.
STEPS adopts a logo & business colours.
STEPS vision is revised, new vision is:
STEPS will be the organisation of choice for clients & employers, through a process of continuous improvement resulting in marketplace leadership. STEPS quality service will be based on ethical & professional behaviour promoting client independence. As an employer STEPS will provide staff with a secure environment that is stimulating & challenging, embracing open communication & professional development.
A new office is opened in Shop 20, Centenary Square, Nambour. STEPS now have 3 offices - Maroochydore, Nambour & Caloundra.
Client numbers grow by approximately 40%.
STEPS Maroochydore move to 78 Duporth Avenue.
STEPS new strategic plan is released with a focus on training & also includes a change to the vision, foundation values & statement of purpose.
STEPS will exercise self-determination & ensure continued success & rejuvenation through expansion of services within the disability field.
STEPS will provide a quality service based on ethical & professional behaviour promoting client independence, ensuring each individual is treated with respect & dignity.
STEPS will create an environment that seeks & encourages innovation & continuous improvement.
STEPS will be differentiated from similar services through our commitment to a caring culture for both clients & staff.
STEPS will strive to be the organisation of choice for clients & employers.
As an employer, STEPS will provide staff with a secure environment that is stimulating & challenging, embracing open communication & professional development.
The Australians Working Together (A Better Deal for People With Disability) Tender is successful.
STEPS Constitution is amended, allowing an increase to the support base.
STEPS Caloundra office moves to Otranto Ave, Caloundra.
The number of staff employed by STEPS consolidates to 30.
STEPS Employment becomes STEPS Disability Queensland Inc reflecting the introduction of a new corporate structure with 4 divisions - STEPS Training, STEPS Employment, STEPS AHEAD & STEPS Support.
A new corporate office is opened in 72 Duporth Avenue, Maroochydore, in addition to the Employment office at 78 Duporth Avenue.
A new strategic plan is released with changes to the vision, & the inclusion of a mission statement & values statement.
New Vision - 'To Enhance Our Community by Empowering People to Maximise Their Potential'.
Previous vision undergoes slight changes to become the new mission statement.
Exercise self-determination & ensure continued success & rejuvenation through expansion of services within the disability field.
Provide a quality service based on ethical & professional behaviour promoting client independence ensuring each individual is treated with respect & dignity.
Create an environment that seeks & encourages innovation & continuous improvement.
Be differentiated from similar services through our commitment to a caring culture for both clients & staff.
Strive to be the organisation of choice for all stakeholders.
Provide staff with a secure environment that is stimulating & challenging, embracing open communication & professional development.
A values statement is introduced to clarify existing values.
Value individuals, their worth & contribution by commitment to the enhancement of our community through education, participation & integration.
Value the opportunity for growth, development & support through innovation & creativity in a changing environment.
Demonstrate determination, commitment & achievement by meeting or exceeding the goals & results expected of us by our customers & all stakeholders, maintaining service standards & improving efficiency & effectiveness through our Quality Systems within our given parameters.
Be responsible for contributing constructively & positively, while working together allowing others to do the same, thereby upholding the organisational values.
SDQ merge with Work Support Employment Service in Bundaberg, expanding geographical service delivery & acquiring a new office (Targo Street).
STEPS has 37 staff & 5 offices - STEPS Corporate, Maroochydore, Nambour, Caloundra, & Bundaberg.
STEPS Employment successfully applies for a Job Placement Organisation License.
STEPS Training was awarded a grant from the Honda Foundation to deliver Driver Training to people with a disability
STEPS Training conducted a National Survey of Disability Employment Service Providers to identify training demands.
STEPS Nambour office move to larger premises in Shop 29 Centenary Square, providing dedicated training rooms.
Number of staff employed increase to 47, STEPS deliver services to almost 500 clients.
STEPS Ahead support clients by providing Supported Wage Assessments & employment opportunities through Bundaberg Property Rescue & STEPS Cleaning.
SDQ merge with Coral Coast Employment Services Inc to provide services to people in Bowen.
The Hervey Bay office is opened, expanding the number of STEPS Offices to 7; staff increase to 48.
STEPS Training partner with Maize Kauffmann to deliver Certificate IV programs.
STEPS Training is invited to become a training partner of the National Employment Services Association (NESA); & to sit on 2 National Special Interest Groups in Professional Development & People with a Disability.
SDQ merge with Employment Access Inc to deliver services to people in Alice Springs.
SDQ partners with Ostara to deliver the Personal Support Program to our participants in Townsville.
STEPS Employment is successful in tendering to deliver Open Employment Services, Remote Service Delivery, Supported Wage Systems & Workplace Modification Scheme to our clients..
Employment opportunities are first advertised on SEEK.com in addition to previous print media advertising.
The slogan "Its all about You" is coined & used in a TV promotion campaign.
STEPS jingle is recorded.
STEPS 1300 telephone number is introduced.
STEPS opens new offices in Townsville & Collinsville; outreach offices are established in Maryborough & Ayr; the corporate office in Maroochydore (72 Duporth) is moved to Forrest Glen; & a new office is acquired in Alice Springs through the merger.
Number of offices increase to 12; Staffing levels increased by 77% to 85.
Funding from the Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations (DEEWR) is received & STEPS Graduate Program commences.
SDQ merge with the Disability Services QLD Funded Division of Capability Concepts Inc to deliver Disability Services to people in Gin Gin & the Wide Bay / Burnett region.
STEPS takes on 18 clients across 3 service levels.
STEPS Employment Caloundra move to a larger office in Bowman Road.
STEPS Community Services is launched to support people in becoming active, contributing members of their community.
STEPS Board approves continuation of the Graduate Program after funding ends, the program is relaunched to a target group covering the Sunshine Coast & Brisbane.
SDQ merge with Impact Employment to expand services to our clients in Townsville.
STEPS Nambour is named a preferred provider of Disability Employment Services for a research project with Queensland Mental Health for the Sunshine Coast.
New marketing campaigns are launched - TV advertising in regional Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay & Townsville; radio in Alice Springs; & newspaper in Bowen.
The Equity Employer Group roll-out commences across all Sites; The Townsville launch takes place with Wayne Bennet as host.
STEPS Training's Scope of Registration expands to 13 Qualifications & 18 Accredited Courses.
Number of staff increase to 94.
STEPS has 13 fully operational offices in Queensland & Northern Territory, & 1 part time office (Noosa).
STEPS celebrates 20 years of service.
The 20 Jobs in 20 Days Promotion is successfully completed.
A 20/20 Cricket Day is held in Bundaberg.
A revised TV campaign is delivered in Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay, Townsville.
STEPS new website is launched.
The Innovation Panel Building Communities through Art - The Meeting Place Project commences in Alice Springs.
The Queensland Mental Health Partnership commences with Sunshine Coast Integrated Employment Project (Southern Cluster).
STEPS Mental Health Centre of Excellence is launched.
STEPS Community Services expands through 6 new programs in 3 regions - Youth Pathways Program (DEEWR), Multicultural Affairs Initiative (Dept. of Communities), Dementia Awareness Initiative (Dept. of Health & Ageing), Regional Arts Development Funding (Local Government), NDCO Strategic Funding (Interactive Game Project - DEEWR) & Post School Services funding for service delivery (DSQ).
STEPS Training are successful in applying to deliver Language, Literacy & Numeracy; Workplace English Language & Literacy; Home & Community Care Aged Care Training; & Productivity Places programs in the Northern Territory.
Scope increases to 17 qualifications & 15 accredited courses.
STEPS Coporate becomes STEPS Central & relocates to new premises in Wises Road Maroochydore.
SDQ merges with CADET, expanding training services available to our clients on the Sunshine Coast.
SDQ partner with Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation to deliver Youth Connections to young people at risk in remote Northern Territory.
Aitkenvale & Townsville offices are moved to 1 new location.
Alice Springs office expands to accommodate Training & Community Services growth.
Number of staff increases to 134.
STEPS has 16 offices in Queensland & Northern Territory, including 3 part time offices in Ayr, Noosa & Maleny.
STEPS Celebrates 21 Years.
Changes to the Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Employment Service Areas allow for the opening of a full-time office in Mackay; a new annexe site to open in Cannonvale; & part time sites in Ayr, Noosa & Maleny extend to full-time.
STEPS Disability QLD Inc becomes STEPS Group Australia, a Company Limited by Guarantee. The organisational structure is adjusted to allow for future growth.
STEPS new strategic plan is released with new vision, mission, values, purpose & core business statements.
New Vision: By recognising the value of all people, STEPS will be a leading national provider of services that strengthens communities.
New Mission: To strengthen communities nationally STEPS will: Deliver exceptional service that is customer focused; grow & expand services; strengthen quality pathways; promote innovation to ensure sustainability; value skilled staff.
New Values: STEPS staff & leadership will uphold the values of: Integrity; respect; loyalty; courage; compassion; commitment; innovation; fun.
New Purpose: Through core services of Employment, Training, Community Services & Social Ventures STEPS will: Create opportunities to help people towards independence.
STEPS deliver 31 contracts across Employment, Training & Community Services; recording close to 50% growth in revenue in the year.
STEPS Training's Language Literacy & Numeracy Program Contract is extended into Cairns & Torres Strait.
STEPS Training delivers 13 Qualifications & 16 Accredited Courses.
STEPS open new offices in Cannonvale, Darwin, Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston & Mackay.
Staff numbers increase to 288, including staff from the CADET team.
STEPS has 23 Offices across Coastal Queensland, Northern Territory, Tasmania & Victoria.