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More jobs, not just job applications

Jul 28, 2014, 09:00 AM by Anglicare Australia

Commenting on the proposed new employment services model released today, Anglicare Australia’s acting Executive Director, Roland Manderson said he would be pleased if more money were to be injected into supporting people into work but warned that pushing them into low paid, short term work, or merely applying for jobs they cannot win, is not the solution.

“Our recent research paper, Beyond Supply and Demand, is the evidence from the Anglicare network of what does and doesn’t make a difference. Certainly that’s why we support the decision to extend wage subsidies to young people and the long term unemployed, and to give up on training for training’s sake,” Mr Manderson said.

Beyond Supply and Demand tells us that we need employment services that deal with people individually, recognising their capacities and the circumstances they live with. One concern with the announcement today is that the flexibility and innovation it talks about may benefit the job services but not the job seekers.

“Also there are barriers to employment that a one size fits all approach doesn’t recognise. As people with disability or an illness, or the old or the young will tell you: far too often the jobs aren’t there. In that case, requiring people to work for the dole and apply for 40 jobs a month is merely a pathway to demoralisation. A better approach is to work with employers to create jobs with a long term future and then support the jobseeker into them while they get going.

“Finally, grinding poverty - and the ill-health, incapacity and insecure housing that goes with it - doesn’t help people find work. Measures in the recent Budget, such as entirely withdrawing income support for six months a year for those under 30, and classifying more people with disabilities as Newstart or Youth Allowance recipients, will not get more people into work nor grow our GDP. It will simply add to their ill health and hardship.

“Anglicare Australia is pleased to see investment in job services that do provide real opportunities for people excluded from the workforce. However, the planned increase in the obligations of jobseekers is unlikely to help them.”

Beyond Supply and Demand – addressing the complexities of workforce exclusion in Australia was prepared for Anglicare Australia by Ian Goodwin-Smith and Claire Hutchinson, Australian Centre for Community Services Research, Flinders University, July 2014.