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OUTCOME 1

Foster a productive and competitive labour market through employment policies and programs that assist participants into work, meet employer needs and increase Australia’s workforce participation.

In 2018–19, the department delivered services focused on engaging jobactive participants, employers and providers, as well as administering programs to support targeted cohorts, including parents, young people, Indigenous participants and small businesses.

Key programs for Outcome 1

The following table provides a high-level description of key programs being undertaken by the department.

Table 1. Key programs undertaken throughout 2018–19

Program

Function

jobactive

jobactive is the Australian Government’s program to get more Australian from welfare into work. It connects job seekers with employers and is delivered by a network of jobactive providers in around 1,700 location across Australia.

New Business Assistance with NEIS1

New Business Assistance with NEIS helps people start their own business by providing accredited small business training, mentoring and business advice in the first year of their new business.

ParentsNext

ParentsNext helps eligible parents to plan and prepare for employment by the time their children go to school. ParentsNext providers work with parents to help them identify their individual education and employment goals and develop a pathway linking them to services and activities in the local community to assist them to achieve their goals. Since 2 July 2018, ParentsNext has been operating in all non-remote areas of Australia.

Transition to Work

Transition to Work provides intensive, pre-employment support to improve the work-readiness of young people and help them into work (including apprenticeships and traineeships) or education.

Time to Work Employment Service

The Time to Work Employment Service provides in-prison employment services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners. This ensure access to support they need upon release to better prepare them to fin employment and reintegrate back into the community.

  1. New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.

The department measures its progress towards achieving Outcome 1 against the following employment services performance measures, of which further details are provided in the detailed performance information for this outcome:

  • jobactive — help job seekers find and keep a job.
  • jobactive — help job seekers move from welfare to work.
  • jobactive — help job seekers meet their mutual obligations.
  • jobactive — jobactive providers deliver quality services.
  • jobactive — overall program measure: cost per employment outcome.
  • New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) — help people create their own job through self-employment.
  • ParentsNext — support parents to build their work-readiness.
  • Time to Work Employment Service — support Indigenous prisoners prepare to find employment and reintegrate back into the community.
  • Transition to Work — help young people move into work or education.

Highlights

  • As at 30 June 2019, jobactive has achieved more than 1.42 million job placements, over 400,000 of them leading to sustainable employment, since its introduction in July 2015. It continues to achieve around 1,000 job placements every day.
  • In that time, over $638 million has been spent by jobactive providers through the Employment Fund to assist eligible job seekers with the skills and other support they need to get and stay in work.
  • Over 36,000 participants in the Transition to Work service have been placed into a job since the start of the service in February 2016. Over 10,000 of these participants achieved a 26-week employment outcome (sustainability outcome).
  • Just under 1,000 people have commenced in the Career Transition Assistance service, which begins a broader national rollout on 1 July 2019.
  • In May 2019, the 10,000th internship placement commenced through the Youth Jobs PaTH program, which gives young people the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and demonstrate their skills to an employer.
  • Since Youth Jobs PaTH began on 1 April 2017, over 41 per cent of the young job seekers who have participated in Employability Skills Training have obtained a job and/or an internship within six months after undertaking the training.
  • On 1 July 2018, Transition to Work became a demand-driven service, giving more young people aged 15 to 21 access to 12 months of intensive training and specialist services to improve their work-readiness and transition into work or education. This followed an expansion from 1 January 2018, to give more Indigenous young people access to the service. As a result, Indigenous young people now make up over 30 per cent of the caseload.
  • The national expansion of the ParentsNext pre-employment program was successfully implemented from 2 July 2018 and has completed its first year servicing all non-remote employment regions.
  • ParentsNext has supported 93,303 parents to identify their education and employment goals and develop a plan to achieve these goals. This includes 25,006 parents starting education, 15,273 parents starting employment and 1,375 exited due to achieving sustainable employment.
  • The Regional Employment Trials program was successfully implemented on 1 October 2018, investing $10 million in grant funding for employment-related projects across 10 disadvantaged regions.
  • Through the Stronger Transitions program, the department has negotiated in total four packages of support with businesses, supporting up to 565 workers.
  • In 2018–19, the department held eight successful jobs fairs across Australia, attended by over 14,500 job seekers. The jobs fairs were in Mandurah (WA), Mareeba (Qld), Devonport (Tas), Moorabbin (Vic), Sunshine (Vic) Broadmeadows (Vic), Port Pirie (SA) and Cairns (Qld).
  • An online version of the Job Seeker Classification Instrument, the Job Seeker Snapshot, was introduced to trial a more streamlined and digital job seeker experience.
  • The Targeted Compliance Framework was implemented successfully from 1 July 2018. It applies to job seekers with mutual obligation requirements who receive services in jobactive, Disability Employment Services and ParentsNext. The Targeted Compliance Framework is meeting policy and program objectives of deterring deliberate and wilful non-compliance at the same time as providing protections and safeguards for vulnerable job seekers and participants.
  • The department successfully implemented the Career Transition Assistance Trial on 1 July 2018 in five trial regions, to assist people aged 50 years and over to increase their employability and become more competitive in the labour market. Since then, around 1,000 participants have commenced in Career Transition Assistance.
  • The department successfully expanded the National Work Experience Programme on 1 July 2018 to provide more work experience opportunities for people looking for work. Eligibility was expanded to include participants aged 17 years or over (previously 18 years and over), and incentive and completion payments were made available to host employers and to jobactive and Transition to Work providers. The number of places available under the program increased from 6,000 to 10,000 annually.
  • The Launch into Work program continued to demonstrate how collaboration with employers to identify workforce needs and then co-design effective pre-employment projects to address these needs can help job seekers into ongoing employment. In 2018–19, 22 Launch into Work projects have been completed, resulting in employment outcomes for 186 job seekers, the majority of whom were long-term unemployed.
  • The employer liaison officer network has successfully worked with large businesses and industries to support streamlined access to the employment services system and design collaborative approaches across the network to meet employer needs. This has resulted in ongoing engagement by these employers and industries to embed employment services into their recruitment strategies.
  • The department, with the cooperation of relevant industries, conducted research to identify perceptions about barriers and enablers to entry into four occupations experiencing staff shortages: truck driving, cheffing, hairdressing and bricklaying. The findings are expected to assist with developing possible actions by industry, government and other stakeholders to improve access and attraction to these occupations.
  • The conclusion of jobactive contracts in 2020 provided an opportunity to explore options for a future employment services model that would better meet the needs of its users and remain effective in an environment where rapid technological change is creating new jobs and industries.
  • Significant stakeholder consultation and user-centred research was undertaken to inform the advice of the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel. The panel’s report to government recognised the achievements of jobactive and made 11 recommendations for the design of a new model. The report was released on 14 December 2018.

Challenges

  • Labour market conditions for young people (aged 15 to 24 years) have eased over the last year; and the youth unemployment rate remains high.
  • –– Those who have completed Youth Jobs PaTH have achieved strong outcomes, but take-up continues to be a challenge. The department continues to promote the benefits of the program to employers and job seekers, while working with providers and employers to increase the number of young people undertaking Employability Skills Training and internships.
  • Commencement of the Time to Work Employment Service has taken longer than anticipated due to complex memoranda of understanding negotiations and operationalising the service in individual prisons with their own management and delivery approaches. The department is continuing to work with prisons and providers to support service delivery, and services commenced in all states and territories by the end of June 2019.
  • Closing the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians remains a focus of the department, and requires a coordinated effort to increase the number of Indigenous Australians in work. Programs continue to work together to build Indigenous job seekers’ skills, remove barriers, and link people with employers to find sustainable employment. The department is committed to working with individuals and communities to increase the number of Indigenous Australians in work.
  • On 4 December 2018, ParentsNext was referred to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry into the program’s trial and subsequent broader rollout. The department provided a submission to the inquiry and appeared at the hearing. Following the inquiry, the department is working to implement program adjustments announced by the then Minister.
  • The department is working collaboratively across government to achieve two challenging new economic development targets agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in December 2018:
  • –– 65 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth (15 to 24 years) are in employment, education or training by 2028 (currently 57.2 per cent)
  • –– 60 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25 to 64 years are employed by 2028 (currently 51.0 per cent).
  • The department continues to share information and updates with employment services providers to ensure the Targeted Compliance Framework is applied appropriately and working as intended. The department maintains ongoing engagement with providers, CEOs and peak bodies through formal and informal arrangements to work on resolving issues and identifying needs for system and process improvements. The department delivers comprehensive support to providers, including additional training and on-demand webinars to assist them with aspects of the framework needing extra explanation or guidance.
  • The department continues to monitor the functionality of IT systems developed for the Targeted Compliance Framework and to release updates to resolve minor technical issues experienced by providers and job seekers.