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Low-Skilled Workers Being Excluded from Workforce


31 October 2016 at 10:52 am
Lina Caneva
Low-skilled workers are increasingly being excluded from the workforce, according to a major not-for-profit report which shows there is only one job advertised for every two low-skilled job seekers.


Lina Caneva | 31 October 2016 at 10:52 am


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Low-Skilled Workers Being Excluded from Workforce
31 October 2016 at 10:52 am

Low-skilled workers are increasingly being excluded from  the workforce, according to a major not-for-profit report which shows there is only one job advertised for every two low-skilled job seekers.

Anglicare’s Positions Vacant? When the Jobs Aren’t There is part of the organisation’s Jobs Availability Snapshot.

The findings from the snapshot show that only 13 per cent of all advertised jobs in May 2016 were at the entry level – which assumes year 10 education or equivalent.

It shows a total of 732,000 Australians were registered as unemployed and an estimated 875,200 were underemployed in June. An average 168,896 jobs are advertised each month.

As well there were 138,044 people competing for 21,812 entry-level jobs advertised nationally in May.

The Jobs Availability Snapshot found that, at a national level, there were two job seekers per advertised position at a low skill level.

“These figures suggest that roughly half the job seekers complying with their government-mandated job plan will not find jobs and so are structurally excluded from the labour market,” the report said.

“The picture is grimmer still when we look at the number of low-skilled vacancies at state and territory level. In Tasmania and South Australia, for example, the disparity between available low-skill positions and people looking for work at that level is much higher, with over four job seekers per advertised low-skill vacancy in South Australia, and five in Tasmania.”

The report  features nine stories that make up the report from Anglicare network members across Australia detailing a breadth of challenges to finding work.

Anglicare said the findings showed that Australia needs to both grow the jobs market and invest in people so they can develop the skills and experience they need.

“It’s easy to say ‘get a job’ to someone experiencing unemployment. But the stories contained within this report show we need a much more nuanced understanding of the systemic and individual barriers faced by disadvantaged job seekers,” Anglicare Australia Council chair Dr Chris Jones said in the report.

Anglicare CEO Casey Chambers said Australia must invest in people to bring them into a position where they are ready for work and that we must continue to invest in order to keep them there.

“Given there are simply not enough jobs to go around for the foreseeable future, we must be more compassionate to those without jobs and find other ways to elicit well-being, participation and inclusion in our society,” Chambers said.

“This report demonstrates how when we invest in individuals, we see real results. We see people taking steps on a path to employment and participation, and also towards fulfillment and the maximising of their potential. It also shows how as a society we do not yet have the answers to unemployment or underemployment, and we will not uncover them by worrying away at the unemployed individual.

“We need to interrogate our societal assumption that people have worth because they contribute to the economy and consume… We also need to be open to having a large-scale conversation

about a new social compact.

“This new social compact should be one that cares well for people who find themselves without work; one that finds other ways for people to find their worth in society and that also values the importance of secure work with enough hours at a fair pay.”


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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