Aspect October 2020

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: Odds stacked against jobseekers

Kasy ED 4_pref

Australia’s crash into recession has pushed employment into the spotlight. Hundreds of thousands of Australians have lost their jobs and whole regions have been forced to a standstill. We emerged from a national economic shutdown only to encounter a second, brutal pandemic wave.

A record number of Australians are locked out of work, and pictures of Centrelink queues dominated early coverage of the pandemic. This begs the question: Are our systems ready to help people find work, and will it support them while they look

Anglicare Australia’s Jobs Availability Snapshot, launched in October, aims to answer these questions. What we found was a dire job market, and a reckoning for an employment system that has been failing people in the greatest need for years.

Even before the Covid-19 crisis, our system was not working for those who need the most help to find work. These might be people with disabilities, who didn’t finish year 12, or older workers who lost their jobs later in life. In the wake of a historic downturn, this has only gotten worse. Our research shows there are eight of these jobseekers competing for each job at their level.

There aren’t enough jobs at this skill level to meet demand in any part of the country. The situation is toughest in SA and Tasmania. In SA, ten of these jobseekers are competing for each suitable job. And in Tasmania, a staggering 21 jobseekers are competing for each one of these jobs.

These jobseekers aren’t just competing with each other. Graduates, laid-off workers, and people who are underemployed also apply for these jobs. Like everyone else, they are motivated to find work. When we factor in all jobseekers, there are an eye-watering 106 people for every vacancy.

For many of these Australians, the recession has only exacerbated the obstacles they face in finding work. The lack of jobs will see more people spend time outside the workforce if they are laid-off, and fewer young people will be able to get a foot in the door. As governments now focus on solutions to Australia’s unemployment crisis, it is more important than ever to help those with barriers to finding work.

So far, there have been some positive changes. The JobKeeper payment has helped many people hang on to their jobs, and the increase to JobSeeker has put people out of work above the poverty line for the first time in decades. Yet these changes were hard won, and they are only temporary – the Government was forced to act because it could not plunge hundreds of thousands of people into poverty, and it could not ignore the gaping holes in our safety net. Now, we are being forced to fight to keep the Government’s own solution. Other decisions, like the return of mutual obligations, are only hurting people already in hardship.

Those who are caught up in this system will not be helped by being punished. Instead they need support to live a decent life while Australia faces this downturn, and they need help to overcome the barriers they face as we all recover.

Our Snapshot also shows that Australia needs to invest in job creation. Hiring incentives, like those announced in the Budget, simply don’t have a track record of creating jobs. Job creation cannot be left to an already failing market – especially when shutdowns have added to the many fault lines in our system. We should be creating work that matches people’s skills, instead of forcing them to compete for jobs that just aren’t there.

Most importantly, we need to redesign our systems to include everyone. This is the biggest lesson we can take from 2020. This principle must inform how we take the next steps, both to look after those enduring hardship now, and to build our collective future. We must reimagine how we support each other to ensure help goes to those who need it most – and demand that governments reorganise its systems to make this happen.

National Office News

National Office News: Jobs Availability Snapshot, Budget Fast Facts, and more

Anglicare Australia launches Jobs Availability Snapshot
Disadvantaged jobseekers are competing with more people for fewer jobs, according to Anglicare Australia’s Jobs Availability Snapshot. The Snapshot was launched on 14 October 2020, as part of Anti-Poverty Week.

There aren’t enough jobs at their skill level to meet demand in any part of the country. The situation is toughest in SA and Tasmania. In SA, ten of these jobseekers are competing for each suitable job. And in Tasmania, twenty jobseekers are competing for each one of these jobs.

This doesn’t include people with more skills and experience, who are also competing for this work in the wake of job losses. In total, there are 106 jobseekers for each entry-level job.

This year’s Snapshot attracted more media attention than ever before. It was featured on ABC News, ABC Radio National, SBS World News, Win News, Ten News, and Sky News. Kasy Chambers was also interviewed live on ABC News, and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg responded to the findings.

The report was written up by all major print outlets including The Australian, News Ltd regional newspapers, The Guardian, the Australian Associated Press, and Australian Community Newspapers among many other outlets.

The full report is available here. Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release.

Anglicare Australia sponsors Anti-Poverty Week
In 2020, Anglicare Australia was again a sponsor of Anti-Poverty Week. This year Anti-Poverty Week was used to support affordable housing for all as the best solution to reducing poverty, partnering with the Everybody's Home campaign. It also supported and promoted the Raise the Rate campaign to ensure that unemployment payments never return to $40 a day. In addition to our sponsorship of Anti-Poverty Week, Anglicare Australia is a partner in both campaigns.

As well as the launch of the Jobs Availability Snapshot, Anti-Poverty Week events and activities were held across the Anglicare Australia Network. A particular highlight was the Anglicare NSW South, NSW West, and ACT ‘Pens Against Poverty’ competition. This year’s competition featured poems and stories with the theme ‘Lost and Found’ in mind. Submissions were received from school students from grades across the Canberra region. Entries were judged by Australian children’s author, Jackie French.

Further details of activities are available at www.antipovertyweek.org.au.

Anglicare Australia responds to the Federal Budget
Anglicare Australia’s national office team were involved in many meetings and events before and after this year’s Budget. We were also kept busy on Budget night with our usual work of putting together the Budget Fast Facts analysis for Anglicare Australia Network members as well as a statement for the media.

Anglicare Australia’s Budget commentary was covered by media outlets including the Australian Associated Press, the Canberra Times, and Ten News. Anglicare Australia also joined the ACOSS community sector press conference following the Budget.

Ahead of the Budget, Anglicare Australia released a statement calling for investment in social housing and an increase to JobSeeker. Our Budget calls were covered on ABC News, The Canberra Times and The Guardian.

Click here to download Anglicare Australia’s Budget Fast Facts.

Shovel-ready projects show that social housing is ready to go
The slow rollout of construction projects from the Budget shows that we should be investing in social housing, says Anglicare Australia.

“For months, experts and economists have been calling on the Government to boost the economy with social housing. Now we’re seeing why,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“It turns out that 90 percent of the infrastructure projects from Tuesday’s Budget aren’t ready to get off the ground. Around two thirds can’t get going until 2022. That isn’t going to fire up the economy or get people back to work fast enough.

“Social housing is ready to go now. Almost 10,000 homes can start construction in the next year – and over 6,000 are ready to go within six months. This should be a no-brainer.”

Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release, and click here to read coverage of this story.

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Briefing on social inequality for Anglicare Australia members
Anglicare Australia will host a briefing for Anglicare Australia Network members with Professor Sharon Friel. Professor Friel will discuss her work on social inequality, which includes a focus on the social determinants of health and the health inequities caused by policy responses to Covid-19 and climate change. This meeting will an opportunity for the Network to hear from Professor Friel and think about how we develop our work on this area into the future. Click here to join the Zoom briefing at 12.30pm on November 18.

Update on the National Reconciliation Network
At a recent meeting of the Anglicare Australia National Reconciliation Network on October 27, members heard about Anglicare NT’s partnership support program and the SA First Nations’ staff gathering which addressed the importance of designated roles and positions for first Nations Staff. The meeting also reflected on the insights and lessons that came out of the social impact documentary In my Blood it Runs, which was produced in Central Australia by a partnership of local community leaders and filmmakers.

Anglicare NT has already hosted a number of screenings with staff, followed with in-depth conversations about justice, education and culture, noting the opportunity the film offers for people and organisations to support the calls for change. AnglicareSA has also hosted screenings, and Anglicare Australia has hosted a panel with filmmakers and other partners earlier this year.

For more information on this Network and its work, contact [email protected].

Update on the Clinical and Care Governance Network
The Clinical and Care Governance Network held a forum on October 30 on Community Transmission and Community Care. It featured open discussions on the kinds of changes to procedures and services driven by the Covid-19 pandemic. These include changes in community care, homelessness services, and out-of-home care. For some, the opportunity to work or access services with less face-to-face contact was a positive. However in more intense environments, the workload and the rigour needed to sustain a safe and supportive environment for staff and service users was significant. Presentations from Anglicare Victoria were both useful and compelling.

For more information on this Network and its work, contact [email protected].

Update on the Children and Family Services Network
At 2pm November 24, the Brotherhood of St Laurence will be sharing a newly created child voice practice guide to the Anglicare Australia Network. In September this year Sharon Sparks launched an Australian first, Engaging Children’s Voices in the Early Years Practice Guidelines. The guide embeds child agency into program delivery, and has been informed by the 2019 Children’s Voices Listening Tour. The tour captured feedback from fourteen sites.

To join this Zoom meeting, or for more information about the Network, contact [email protected].

Update on the First Nations Staff Network
As part of a joint initiative in South Australia, Aboriginal leaders in AnglicareSA, St Johns Youth Services, ac.care and Anglicare Willochra have recently come together in Murray Bridge to discuss a commitment to advancing a shared cultural capability framework, improving workforce development and governance. The Network is looking forward to hearing more about these joint efforts in the future.

Other news includes the development of Anglicare NTs Partnership Support Service, a social enterprise that works together with Aboriginal organisations to deliver stronger services. It was founded to support self-determination and a commitment to listening, learning and walking together. Through partnerships and two-way learning, the services aim to meet the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal partner organisation. Collaborations can be project based or long-term to help strengthen and grow the partner organisation’s capabilities.

For more information about this work, and other aspects of the Network, contact [email protected].

Research and Resources

New research and resources: Jobs Availability Snapshot, Foodbank Hunger report, and more

Jobs SnapshotJobs Availability Snapshot
Anglicare Australia
The Jobs Availability Snapshot, released as part of Anti-Poverty Week, is a simple test of the labour market as it affects people with the most barriers to finding work in Australia. It found that eight people are competing for each job in their skill level. It recommends an investment in job creation and an end to punitive approaches to unemployment.

The report is available here.

Foodbank Hunger ReportFoodbank Hunger Report
Foodbank
This report combines insights from two surveys, bringing together the perspectives of charities and community groups providing front-line food relief as well as individuals experiencing food insecurity. It found that demand for food relief is up, and that many Australians have been in a situation where they have run out of food and have been unable to buy more. That is the equivalent of five million people.

The report is available here.

Digital Technology in the NFP SectorDigital Technology in the Not-for-Profit Sector
Infoxchange
Infoxchange, Connecting Up and TechSoup New Zealand have partnered to produce the Digital Technology in the Not-for-Profit Sector report for 2020. The report aims to better understand how not-for-profit organisations across Australia and New Zealand are using technology in order to recognise areas of growth and where improvement is needed.

The report is available here.

Gambling in AustraliaGambling in Australia during Covid-19
Australian Institute of Family Studies
Covid-19 has led to changes in the availability of gambling in Australia, with land-based gambling venues temporarily closed and major national and international sporting codes suspended. To understand how people adjusted to these changes in gambling availability, this study we surveyed over 2,000 people who gamble. It found that almost 1 in 3 survey participants signed up for a new online betting account during Covid-19, and 1 in 20 started gambling online.

The report is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

Policy, consultations and grants

Pathways and Participation Opportunities for Indigenous Australians in Employment and Business
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs is inquiring into opportunities for employment and economic development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Committee has invited submissions addressing any or all of the terms of reference, and is also encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to complete a survey that will inform its report.

Submissions close on 31 December 2020. More information is available here.

Select Committee on Covid-19
The Select Committee on Covid-19 was formed to inquire into the Australian Government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and ay related issues. The Committee is due to hand down its final report by 30 June 2022, and will conduct a rolling inquiry until the completion of this parliamentary term.

Submissions are open, and no closing date has been nominated. More information is available here.

Inquiry into general issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS
The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme is conducting this rolling inquiry, which aims to identify broad systemic issues relating to the implementation and operation of the Scheme. After 30 June each year, the committee reports to Parliament on recurrent issues that have arisen and offers recommendations intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Scheme.

Submissions are open, and no closing date has been nominated. More information is available here.

Sector Events

Sector Events, October-November 2020

Briefing on social inequality for Anglicare Australia members
Anglicare Australia will host a briefing for Anglicare Australia Network members with Professor Sharon Friel. Professor Friel will discuss her work on social inequality, which includes a focus on the social determinants of health and the health inequities caused by policy responses to Covid-19 and climate change. This meeting will an opportunity for the Network to hear from Professor Friel and think about how we develop our work on this area into the future. Click here to join the Zoom briefing at 12.30pm on November 18.

Managing a Cybersecurity Breach - Guidance for directors
Every day the media describes cyber incidents involving ransomware, spear phishing or denial of service. How can directors provide effective oversight to the management of a cyber incident? What are the issues that impact the value of the company? How can boards intervene to limit the damage? This webinar, hosted by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, will provide you with an overview of the strategic and tactical issues that arise when cyber incidents occur. You will learn to identify and anticipate the common pitfalls to help minimise the impact of a cyber incident. It will be held on November 5 at 12pm. Click here to register.

Protect, restructure, thrive: Dynamic planning for a successful 2021
2021 is just around the corner. As leadership teams turn to planning for the coming year, this time the task is not a simple one. Will services be able to be delivered face to face? Will funding be available? As the sector consolidates, what type of organisations will survive? How do we plan our workforce model and support our employees when we don’t know our financial situation nor service delivery requirements? Can we make our voice heard with government? This webinar, hosted by Pro Bono, will guide leaders through essential questions and strategies to develop a plan that will lead them into 2021 with confidence. It will be held on November 12 at 12pm. Click here to register.

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