Government Responds to Concerns About PaTH Internships

The roles that jobactive, TtW and DES providers are expected to play in relation to PaTH internships and exploitation, job displacement and workplace health and safety are outlined in the Australian Government’s response to recommendations and concerns of a recent Senate committee report on the Youth Jobs PaTH Bill. 

While the Senate Education and Employment Committee recommended that the Bill be passed, its other recommendation was that the Department of Employment consider the issues raised in submissions received, and in particular publish clear guidance on PaTH so that job seekers and employers have clarity about their rights and responsibilities.

In the Government’s response, it has committed the Department of Employment to providing reference material, such as factsheets, to job seeker and employers.  More detailed information is starting to emerge about PaTH internships, and can be accessed from https://jobactive.gov.au/path

The response gives us an idea of the role jobactive, TtW and DES providers will have in the implementation of PaTH internships.

The definitive guide for providers though, at least for jobactive and TtW providers, is the new Managing PaTH Internship Guidelines that were posted on the provider portal this week.  It covers requirements for providers including:

  • Assessing participant and business eligibility
  • Checking the workplace is suitable, including completing a risk assessment and ensuring appropriate mitigation strategies are applied
  • Purchasing alternative insurance where an activity is excluded under the Department’s insurance policies. 
  • Providing clear verbal and written information to job seekers about their rights and responsibilities, and ensuring they understand them, during the PaTH Internship. 
  • Agreeing to the terms of the internship with the participant and host business
  • Paying host businesses $1000 for each participant that commences as an intern, and submit claims for reimbursement from the Department. 
  • Monitoring how the PaTH internship is progressing, and reporting to the Department of Employment if the monitoring suggests that an employer is not using the program appropriately. 
  • Monitoring the use of PaTH Internships for churn by businesses.  This includes being satisfied before the Internship commences that it will not displace paid employment and that there is a reasonable prospect of employment for the job seeker with the host business afterwards.  Providers will also have access to a host business’ PaTH internship history, showing how many interns they’ve hosted and how many have been employed by the business. 

Don’t forget that there will be a Learning Centre webinar for providers on PaTH Internships on 16 March at 2pm Canberra Time.  To find out more, click here.

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