New Employment Program Welcomed
6 July 2015 at 11:38 am
Jobs Australia, the peak body for Not for Profit employment services, has welcomed the start of jobactive, the Federal Government’s new program to get unemployed people back to work.
The new jobactive program replaces Job Services Australia and CEO of Jobs Australia, David Thompson, said it features more flexibility for providers to innovate and design their own services, while also increasing the emphasis on working with employers to generate more employment outcomes for disadvantaged job seekers.
More than 30 Jobs Australia members tendered successfully for the new contracts and have opened their doors in thousands of locations around Australia as of the beginning of this month.
Thompson said while a number of large, private companies had won jobactive contracts, the Not for Profit and community sector had maintained its market share of more than 50 per cent in the new system.
“The non-profit sector builds and leverages social capital in our communities in ways that only non-profit organisations can,” Thompson said.
“Non-profits are more innovative and more responsive to the community’s needs because they’re in it for the common good, not to make money.”
But Thompson also acknowledged that the new program would present challenges.
“Unemployment in Australia is low by world standards, but jobless rates are shamefully high in some parts of the country and there are places where the labour market is all but non-existent,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that the jobactive providers in those severely disadvantaged communities are going to have their work cut out for them.”
Thompson said he was pleased that the new program includes specific targets for Indigenous employment outcomes, requiring providers to achieve at least an equal rate of outcomes for Indigenous job seekers as they do for non-Indigenous Australians.
“For many reasons, none of which excuse it, we haven’t achieved parity when it comes to employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians,” he said.
“The Government is to be congratulated for taking that problem seriously and introducing specific provisions in this contract to help close the gap in employment outcomes.
“The challenge to deliver better employment outcomes for all out-of-work Australians begins today.”