Objective 3 - Helping job seekers meet their mutual obligations

A central feature of the employment services framework is its emphasis on keeping job seekers activated and focused on finding employment. Accordingly, these performance measures relate to keeping job seekers actively engaged, attending appointments with their providers and looking for suitable work.

As the performance measures related to Objective 3 are not affected by labour market conditions, they reflect the extent to which the jobactive model is meeting its objectives.

Table 3. Results for Objective 3
Indicator Target Result
Proportion of Work for the Dole participants who report increased motivation to find a job 75% 74.9%
Proportion of jobactive appointments attended 90% 76.8%
Proportion of job seekers with mutual obligation requirements who are actively looking for work 95% 96.2%

Proportion of Work for the Dole participants reporting increased motivation to find a job

Work for the Dole is a work experience program that places job seekers in activities where they can build new skills, and get the experience and confidence to move from welfare to work, while giving back to their community. The extent to which Work for the Dole increases participants’ motivation to find work is a measure of how effective the program is at keeping job seekers activated and engaged. The department’s post-program monitoring survey measures the proportion of job seekers reporting an improvement in their desire to find a job around six weeks after commencing a Work for the Dole activity. The data is published regularly in the quarterly Employment Services Outcomes Report.

Participation in Work for the Dole has a positive impact on job seekers’ soft skills development and their outlook. A total of 74.9 per cent of Work for the Dole participants reported that their involvement improved their motivation to find a job. This compares to 72.0 per cent in 2016–17.

Job seekers also report improvements in their ability to work with others, as well as their self-confidence and work related skills (see Figure 6). These results are evidence that work experience programs help improve the employability of participants though the acquisition of soft skills.

Figure 6. Proportion of Work for the Dole participants who reported improvements in their soft skills, 2016–17 and 2017–18
Figure 6. Proportion of Work for the Dole participants who reported improvements in their soft skills, 2016–17 and 2017–18

Graph information - Figure 6.

  • Desire to find a job 2016-17 72.0% 2017-18 74.9%
  • Ability to work with others 2016-17 71.3% 2017-18 74.3%
  • Self-confidence 2016-17 68.9% 2017-18 70.5%
  • Work-related skills 2016-17 63.9% 2017-18 68.5%
  • Chances of getting a job 2016-17 53.4% 2017-18 58.6%

Proportion of jobactive provider appointments attended

jobactive participants must attend regular appointments with their provider to monitor achievement against their requirements, and to help them find work. The extent to which job seekers attend these appointments is an established measure of job seeker engagement.

This measure is calculated using administrative data sources as the proportion of provider appointments attended (excluding those where providers confirmed that the job seeker had a valid reason for not attending). The department reports publicly on this measure each year.

In 2017–18, 76.8 per cent of job seeker appointments were attended (see Figure 7). This represents a 1.8 percentage point increase over 2016–17 when 75 per cent of provider appointments were attended. Although the result is below the target of 90 per cent, the target was designed to be aspirational. The attendance rate has steadily increased since jobactive was introduced in July 2015.

During the next reporting year the department will implement the Targeted Compliance Framework. This focuses resources and financial penalties on the small minority of job seekers who persistently and wilfully do not comply with requirements, while providing protection for vulnerable job seekers by ensuring requirements match capabilities. The framework is expected to lead to further improvements in the attendance rate.

Figure 7. Proportion of job seeker appointments attended, 2017-18
Figure 7. Proportion of provider appointments attended, 2017-18

Graph information - Figure 7.

Target of 90 per cent with a year average of 76.89 per cent:

  • July 2016: 76.4%
  • August 2016: 76.5%
  • September 2016: 76.5%
  • October 2016: 76.7%
  • November 2016: 76.5%
  • December 2016: 78.3%
  • January 2017: 75.4%
  • February 2017: 77.0%
  • March 2017: 77.9%
  • April 2017: 75.6%
  • May 2017: 77.5%
  • June 2017: 76.3%

Proportion of job seekers with mutual obligation requirements who are actively looking for work

Ensuring that job seekers actively look for work and stay engaged with the labour market is a key priority for the Government. Most job seekers participating in jobactive must search for work and have the requirement to look for work included in their Job Plan.

This measure is calculated using administrative data and is reported annually. The measure currently reflects the proportion of job seekers with a job search requirement in their Job Plan.

In 2017–18, 96.2 per cent of job seekers with mutual obligation requirements were actively looking for work. This compares to 96.5 per cent in 2016–17. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) noted in its Performance Audit Report: Implementation of the Annual Performance Statements Requirements 2016–17 (tabled in Parliament on 28 March 2018) that the methodology for this measure was not appropriate as it simply measured how many people had a job search requirement in their Job Plan.

In response to the ANAO report, the department revised the methodology for this performance measure for 2018–19. The calculation of this measure will be the proportion of job seekers meeting their job search requirement when it is included in their Job Plan.