Repeat Failure: Time to fix Australia’s employment system

Anglicare Australia has called for an overhaul of Australia’s employment system. The call is made as Anglicare Australia releases Repeat Failure, which shows that the system is failing people who are out of work.

Released today, the report finds that:

  • Even though unemployment is low, long-term unemployment has barely budged
  • People out of work are spending an average of five years looking for work
  • These Australians need entry-level roles, but jobs are disappearing
  • Government strategies ignore these people, focusing on short courses and mutual obligation instead of building long-term skills.

“Anyone who wants help to look for work should be able to get it. The quality of that help should be guaranteed, and the system should be about supporting people,” said Anglicare Australia Acting Executive Director Maiy Azize.

“But this report shows that people are being churned through the system without getting help they need. They are running a gauntlet of interviews, reporting, and training courses that aren’t leading to work. Private providers are being paid millions of dollars to run this system without delivering results.

“Lynchpins of the system, like Work for the Dole and the BasicsCard, have repeatedly been shown to fail – and they waste millions of dollars a year.

“This isn’t a surprise. Anglicare Australia agencies work with people caught up in this system. They tell us that us that it is stopping people from finding work, causing harm, and driving some to despair.

“The Government has committed to keeping this system. But our report shows that if we keep doing the same things, we will continue to get the same results.

“We’re calling on the Government to change things for the better. We need to create entry-level job opportunities that people are qualified to apply for, and give them the opportunity to gain real qualifications – instead of churning people through low-quality courses.

“We need to stop paying private providers to punish people without delivering results. And we need to end failing programs like Work for the Dole and the BasicsCard. “We are asking the Government to listen to the evidence and join us in fixing the system once and for all. It’s time to build a safety net that that actually helps people instead of punishing them,” Ms Azize said.