Head company: Arriba Group
Like APM, AimBig has been rewarded with Workforce Australia contracts despite a track record of harm in Disability Employment Services.
AimBig stands out as the only employment services provider to be put under the microscope by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (DRC), which held 3 days of hearings into parent company Arriba Group in February 2022. The hearing focused on the abuse experienced by a participant in the “Busy Beans” program, and how Arriba Group’s corporate structure and employment programs were carefully calibrated to extract maximum profit from people on the AimBig caseload.
|2 out of 5
|Score from ratings submitted to the
AUWU app by people in
|Value of published employment services
contracts.1Published contract values from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (source: tenders.gov.au) and the Department of Social Services (source: dss.gov.au/overview/departmental-contract-listing/grants-contracts). Workforce Australia: $21.7 million; Disability Employment Services: $28.2 million; Total: $49.9 million.
|The company does not publish annual reports,
but CEO Marcella Romero won a CEO
Magazine award in this turnover
CEO Magazine, 24 February 2022, ‘Arriba Group’s Marcella Romero named CEO of the Year – A$0- 100m turnover’, apminvestors.net.au
|Value of public funds received by AimBig for
the one-year Busy Beans program. There
were 205 people in the program in total.3Henrique-Gomes L, 27 February 2022, ‘New job led to ‘broken life’ under disability scheme spruiked as success story’, The Guardian
The Busy Beans program took advantage of employment services outcome payments, rules that allow providers to employ people on their caseload and refer them to programs in related entities, government wage subsidies, grants and labour hire practices to generate more than $1 million income to provide unaccredited “training” to 205 people on inappropriate equipment in an unsafe environment.
“Mzia told the royal commission the experience had left her with a “broken heart” and a ‘broken life’.”
Two months after the devastating DRC evidence exposed AimBig’s mistreatment, exploitation and profiteering from disabled people, they were awarded a $21.7 million Workforce Australia contract.
“AimBig bribed me into leaving my Disability Employment Services is an employment services program targeted to dis... provider at the time by advertising jobs on SEEK, which I applied for, and then contacting me and claiming I would get the job if I switched over to them as my DES provider. I was reluctant, but I really wanted the job as it was ideal for my skill set and worked well with my disability and circumstances. Once the switch was made I didn’t get the job (or even make it to an interview). Things rapidly declined from there… every 2 weeks they’d ignore or forget my medical needs, then falsely claim I had missed an appointment, and threaten to cancel my payment.”
Below you can read a selection of survey responses, reviews, news articles and social media comments about AimBig. We will be adding more survey responses and social media stories here in the coming weeks.
24 August 2022, Guardian Australia, Luke Henriques-Gomes. Access the full article here. AimBig one of 52…
17 January 2023, Guardian Australia, Stephanie Convery. Access the full article here. Participant in BusyBeans program…
Employment services survey
The Punishment for Profit report is based on hundreds of responses to surveys conducted by the Antipoverty Centre. This research is ongoing. If you are in Workforce Australia, Disability Employment Services or a similar program, we welcome any information you are able to share about your experiences.