Disadvantaged Job-Seekers Initiative
25 May 2010 at 2:47 pm
Not for Profits have joined in the Federal Government’s new Local Connections to Work initiative to bring together employment, advice and support services to help disadvantaged job-seekers move into work.
Under Local Connections to Work, disadvantaged job seekers will be able to access, in one location, financial assistance, advocacy, housing, employment and health support services, education and counselling, and other services which may help overcome barriers to employment.
Commonwealth, State and local government services, Job Services Australia, Disability Employment Services, education providers and community welfare and service organisations will join Centrelink to provide improved links between services for disadvantaged job seekers.
The pilot begins today at Frankston in Victoria and will be followed at Campsie in NSW, Ipswich in Queensland and Elizabeth in SA by the end of June.
The Federal Minister for Human Services, Chris Bowen says closer collaboration between service providers will make it easier for people with serious barriers to receive the services they need so they can move into work.
The services would be targeted at those who had been unemployed for five or more years and to disadvantaged youth and others in need.
Services provided on the ground to job seekers in each location will be driven by local needs and tailored to the circumstances of the job seeker and their families.
Job seekers targeted for assistance will have joint meetings with Centrelink and their Job Services Australia provider or Disability Employment Services provider.
Where a particular service is not available on-site, job seekers will be helped to connect with the services required.
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has welcomed the initiative saying the new program is a great step toward helping disadvantaged job-seekers who are often juggling a range of serious problems, like homelessness, poor health and financial stresses, that make job search difficult.
ACOSS CEO Clare Martin says bringing together employment and community assistance services should make it easier for disadvantaged job-seekers to get the help the need as they move between services.
Martin says income management targets long-term jobseekers and does not take personal circumstances into account. The $410 million which will be spent on income management over the next five years would be better directed into programs such as the Local Connections to Work programs that actively help people find work.