Outcome 1

Outcome 1 aims to foster a productive and competitive labour market through employment policies and programs that help job seekers into work, meet employer needs and increase Australia’s workforce participation.

To deliver this outcome, the department’s intended results are:

  • Job seekers find and keep a job.
  • Job seekers move from welfare to work.
  • Job seekers meet their mutual obligations.
  • Employment services providers deliver quality services.
  • Young people move into work or education.

In 2017–18 the department contributed to achieving this outcome through the work outlined in this chapter.

Highlights

  • In April, jobactive achieved one million job placements since its introduction in July 2015.
  • During the year, jobactive providers successfully helped people pepare for work, placing them into 351,647 job placements.
  • Using $232.3 million through the Employment Fund, jobactive providers helped more than 355 thousand individuals.
  • Employers received $297 million in wage subsidies, assisting more than 56,300 people into work. Five hundred and eighty individuals were helped through Relocation Assistance to Take Up A Job.
  • At 30 June, 45,117 individuals had participated in at least one element of Youth Jobs PaTH. This includes:
    • 29,462 commencements in PaTH Employability Skills Training courses
    • 6,048 PaTH internships, and
    • 25,439 Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy agreements.
  • In 2017–18, initiatives to help people pursue self-employment were also successful. Support was provided for 800 people to build their business knowledge through the Exploring Being My Own Boss workshops. New Business Assistance with New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) was provided to 6,869 individuals, and Entrepreneurship Facilitators helped over 13,800 people start or grow their business.
  • During the year, the department secured an additional $89 million over four years from 2018–19 for the Transition to Work service. This increased funding allows Transition to Work to move from a capped funding model to more flexible demand driven funding, allowing greater flexibility to continue helping young Australians aged 15 to 21 years to engage in further education and to find work. To achieve this, Transition to Work providers will help young people:
    • develop practical skills to get a job 
    • connect with education or training 
    • find and complete work experience placements 
    • find job opportunities in the local area, and 
    • connect with relevant local community services.
  • The department successfully completed the national expansion of ParentsNext, extending the service from the original 10 Local Government Area locations to parents across Australia from 1 July 2018. The pre-employment program has helped parents and carers gain confidence and to plan and prepare for work that is right for them and their family’s needs. By fostering innovative and collaborative approaches to servicing, providers and local communities are working together to offer tailored servicing for participants.
  • Ten organisations were selected to take part in the Career Transition Assistance Trial, which is being implemented in five regions from 2 July 2018. The trial forms an integral component of the Government’s Mature Age Employment Package. It will provide greater opportunities for mature age people to reskill ahead of a national rollout in 2019.
  • The department worked collaboratively with other agencies to improve servicing arrangements for vulnerable groups—including Indigenous Australians, ex-offenders and refugees—and to achieve better employment outcomes.
  • In 2017–18, the department implemented the Closing the Gap Employment Services Package announced in the 2017–18 Budget.
    • As part of the Time to Work Employment Service implementation, the department selected 13 organisations that will increase access to quality employment services for Indigenous prisoners transitioning into society. This is supporting the Government’s commitment to creating better opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
    • From 1 January 2018, jobactive providers were encouraged to look for opportunities to establish Indigenous specific, community-based Work for the Dole Activities.
  • The department developed jobs and skills measures—worth $189.7 million—announced under the More Choices for a Longer Life Package in the 2018–19 Budget. These include:
    • bringing forward the national rollout of the Career Transition Assistance program and lowering the eligibility – from 50 years and over to 45 years – to help more older Australians increase their job
      readiness and develop digital literacy
    • ensuring the Restart wage subsidy is available to employers to help them hire older job seekers
    • expanding the entrepreneurship facilitators program to include 20 additional locations and encourage self-employment among older Australians
    • implementing a range of Job Change initiatives to help workers facing retrenchment to find new jobs
    • implementing a Skills and Training Incentive to encourage life-long learning and help older workers gain new skills, and
    • establishing a Collaborative Partnership on Mature Age Employment to help address age discrimination.
  • The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 passed through Parliament on 27 March and received Royal Assent on 11 April 2018. The legislation includes several measures developed by the department, including the new Targeted Job Seeker Compliance Framework and measures to strengthen participation requirements for some job seekers, which will be implemented in 2018–19.
  • With employer mobilisation and employer engagement well integrated, the department has made strong progress in engaging with employers nationally to raise awareness of Youth Jobs PaTH and other employment programs and services for job seekers.

Challenges

  • Take-up of Seasonal Work Incentives Trial positions was lower than anticipated in 2017–18. The department is continuing to promote the trial with all relevant stakeholders including growers, employment service providers and job seekers.
  • To help streamline Work for the Dole administration, Work for the Dole coordinator contracts ceased on 31 December 2017 and from 1 January 2018 jobactive providers became responsible for sourcing all Work for the Dole Places. To help clients and stakeholders with these changes, the department developed a range of promotional materials and communication products.
  • The department is promoting the benefits of the Youth Jobs PaTH program to employers and job seekers, and is working with providers and employers to increase the number of young people undertaking Employability Skills Training and Internships.
  • Commencement of the Time to Work Employment Service is subject to negotiations with state and territory governments. The roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth, Corrective Services and Health are set out in Memoranda of Understandings negotiated with each state and territory. These have been commencing progressively since January 2018. The Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria have signed onto the service. The remaining states and the Northern Territory are due to sign in the second half of 2018.
  • Striving to close the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians requires a coordinated effort across multiple fronts. This includes building Indigenous job seekers’ skills, linking people with available jobs, encouraging employers to play their part, and removing barriers to employment. The department is committed to working with individuals and communities to increase the number of Indigenous Australians in work.