The Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Business Council of Australia have jointly proposed improvements to employment services to deliver better job outcomes for people disadvantaged in the labour market.
The organisations propose employment services be reoriented towards a ‘partnerships approach’, which more effectively links employment services with employer needs, and where funding is redirected to more targeted training and in-job support.
The system would focus on three groups: very long-term unemployed people; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People identified as disadvantaged jobseekers, and people with disability identified as disadvantaged jobseekers.
The specific recommendations include:
- Establishment of employment brokers to create partnerships between employers and employment services to better match jobseekers with labour demand.
- Establishment of regional employment boards in areas of high unemployment to promote the partnerships approach among industry, unions, employment services and training providers.
- Redirecting training resources from the existing Employment Pathway Fund to focus more on disadvantaged jobseekers, and to fund work experience and training as part of the partnerships approach.
The organisations have been working together since late 2012 in an alliance to tackle entrenched disadvantage.
This statement offers a pathway for the Commonwealth to better assist disadvantaged jobseekers through making employment placement services easier to use and with better incentives for both employers and employees, as the BCA recommended last year in its Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity.