Anglicare Australia has called for an overhaul of Workforce Australia in a new paper, released ahead of this week’s Jobs and Skills Summit.
“Anyone who wants help to look for work should be able to get it. The quality of that support should be guaranteed, and the system should be about supporting people,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“But too often, the system hurts people without helping them. Our research shows that people are being forced to run a gauntlet of interviews, reporting, and administration that isn’t leading to work. We also found that private providers are being paid millions of dollars to punish and breach people.
“Instead of helping people, the system is stopping them from finding work, causing harm, and driving some to despair.
“Lynchpins of the system, like Work for the Dole and Jobactive, have repeatedly been shown to fail – and they waste millions of dollars a year. Our research shows that people on the coalface know it.
“Yet the people we spoke to also told us that they want to do activities that matter, and that lead them into work. Instead they are being forced into pointless busywork.
“The Jobs and Skills Summit is being held later this week. The summit must look at fixing this system once and for all. It’s time to stop punishing people for being out of work, and start giving them the support they need,” Ms Chambers said.
Released ahead of the Jobs and Skills Summit, Obligation Without Opportunity finds that:
- Employment services are failing to place people in work, are prone to errors, and have cost taxpayers billions
- Almost two thirds of people in the system (58 percent) surveyed by Anglicare Australia have had a debt. Almost half of the time, provider or system errors caused the debt (47 percent)
- This is backed by official figures which show an error rate of between one in five and one in two
- Most people say the activities that providers are paid to run are pointless (79 percent)
- Very few people believe that Centrelink obligations are helping them find paid work (13 percent)
- An overwhelming number of people (74 percent) want to do Centrelink activities that are fair. Even more (75 percent) want to do activities that lead to work.
Click here to download Obligation Without Opportunity.