Discussion paper

Redesigning employment services after COVID-19

Youth unemployment Job creation Unemployment Welfare recipients Welfare reform Australia

In this discussion paper, the authors outline the case for a review of employment services. They explain why viable funding for employment services should not be dependent on outcome payments and should be sufficient to enable agencies to provide ongoing services regardless of labour market conditions.

The most critical issues are those relating to job creation and employment supports that will prevent further long-term unemployment. These matters should be the substance of a significant review of government investment in active labour market programs, a review that is urgent given the predicted significant increase in unemployment. This review should engage stakeholders from businesses large and small, the labour movement, government department and agency heads, the skills and education sector, chambers of commerce and industry and other peak bodies, civil society, the social services sector, and unemployed workers.

This discussion paper proceeds by firstly looking at the likely post COVID-19 unemployment scenario. It then describes Jobactive and the reasons it is being reformed. The paper then outlines the changes to the service model and fees of the New Employment Services trials.

It uses this analysis to outline the case for undertaking an urgent review of employment services for the post COVID-19 unemployment scenario. The paper concludes with more detailed recommendations for the scope and composition of this review.

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