Jobs Australia welcomes commitment to reform of employment services


Jobs Australia has welcomed recent comments from both major political parties on intentions to improve the system of employment services. 

Yesterday, Labor announced that the employment services system needs to focus more on getting people into work, and less on unnecessary administration and activities. 

Shadow Employment Services Minister Terri Butler announced that, if elected, Labor would propose major reforms to the current system. It would have more focus on helping people get work, and less on administration and job seeker compliance with mutual obligation. 

Late in 2018, Jobs Minister Kelly O’Dwyer released the I Want to Work report from an independent panel, on the Government’s Jobactive program. In response, the Minister acknowledged that while the current system has achieved over 1.2m job placements since July 2015, a new model is needed that better meets the changing needs of job seekers and employers. 

Yesterday, Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher reinforced that while the Government has been reviewing employment services, mutual obligation is at the centre of its approach to getting people off welfare and into work. They view this as fair to job seekers and tax payers.

Unemployment payments in Australia have always been conditional on job searching. Jobs Australia supports the principle of mutual obligation: job seekers should be required to undertake fair levels of activity to help them become employable and they deserve to have their efforts reciprocated by support.

However, Jobs Australia believes that reform is needed and that there is too much emphasis on managing job seeker compliance in the current model, and not enough emphasis on helping people to find work.

Jobs Australia’s CEO Debra Cerasa today reinforced Jobs Australia’s position, saying, “Jobactive is over regulated and has too many administrative requirements. It has too many complex rules. There is too much emphasis on managing job seeker compliance in the current model, and not enough emphasis on helping people to find work.

“A comprehensive re-design of the system is needed. There is not enough flexibility for providers to deliver tailored and individualised services, and to take account of job seekers’ circumstances and meet their needs.

“We need to offer unemployed people more hope, support and opportunity.

“We need a simpler model, that will allow providers to focus on individuals, to provide the right supports for job seekers to progress towards, and then gain, meaningful employment.

“A simplified model would reduce the administrative and compliance burden, allowing providers to focus more on consulting with employers to meet their needs.”


For further comment on employment services reform or mutual obligation, contact Jobs Australia Mary Masters, 0400 014 008