The latest iteration of Australia’s outsourced public employment services is jobactive. Commenced in July 2015, it was designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of employment services and reduce the administrative burden on providers. However, jobactive is not working particularly well for mature age jobseekers, employment services staff or employers.
Our research highlights several contradictions that undermine the effectiveness of assistance offered to mature age—and other—jobseekers.
The current jobactive contract ends in 2020. There is an opportunity in the short term to strengthen support for jobactive staff and mature age jobseekers, in the medium term to inform the development of the next contract, and in the longer term to contribute to a re-imagination of assistance for of unemployed workers—whatever their age.
Building on previous research about mature age workforce participation, the Enhancing employment services for mature age jobseekers study explored how jobactive employment services might better assist mature age jobseekers. The study entailed interviews with mature age jobseekers, jobactive staff and employers in four Victorian employment regions with high rates of mature age unemployment.
The three reports from this project can be accessed below.