Disadvantaged Jobseekers Facing Lack of Entry-Level Jobs
18 October 2018 at 8:00 am
Entry-level jobs for disadvantaged jobseekers are drying up, according to new analysis which reveals more than four people are competing for each low-skilled job in Australia.
Anglicare’s latest Jobs Availability Snapshot found almost 111,000 people with barriers to work were looking for low-skilled, entry-level jobs in Australia compared to just 26,000 vacancies at that skill level.
The situation was most dire in Tasmania, which had almost 12 jobseekers for each suitable job in the state.
Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said people with barriers to work – such as no qualifications or experience, those re-entering the workforce or those living regionally – must also compete with recent graduates and skilled retrenched workers for entry-level roles.
“So when we say there are 12 people for every disadvantaged jobseeker in Tasmania it’s actually much higher,” Chambers told Pro Bono News.
“In fact I recently spoke to somebody whose son had applied for a job as a gardener in Canberra and was told there were more than 400 applicants.
“So the odds are very much against people with disadvantages trying to enter the job market.”
Anglicare’s analysis showed entry-level jobs have dried up, currently making up only 14 per cent of total job advertisements compared to 22 per cent in 2006.
Chambers said this showed an overhaul of Australia’s employment services was needed.
The Department of Jobs and Small Business revealed disadvantaged people in the government’s jobactive network were waiting five years on average to find work, while a recent survey found just 8 per cent of jobactive participants were satisfied with the program.
“The system works in a way that rewards jobactive providers for churning people through potentially unsuitable jobs,” Chambers said.
“We must move to a tailored approach for each person.
“That means working in partnership with people taking into account their situation, strengths and goals. It means helping people find the right training programs [and] supporting them to stay in work once they’re there.”
Chambers also echoed the social sector’s ongoing calls for an immediate increase to the rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance.
“We have Anglicare data showing people on Newstart are spending 122 per cent of their weekly income, forcing them to sell their belongings and visit payday lenders to make ends meet,” she said.
“There’s no point punishing people through low payments to make them get jobs if the jobs aren’t there. It’s simply inhumane and not serving any need for jobseekers.”