The future of employment services


Consultation is now open on the future employment services model to start when the current jobactive contract arrangements finish in mid-2020. We want to hear from you.

The Online Employment Services Trial has commenced and eligible job seekers are now self-servicing online.

Public Discussion Paper

The Department is committed to consulting on the design of the new model to ensure it delivers better job outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged job seekers.

We want to hear from you

The Department has now released a Public Discussion Paper. The discussion paper and appendices are available by clicking the links below:

Discussion Paper: the next generation of Employment Services 2020 - Discussion Paper
Discussion Paper: the next generation of Employment Services 2020 - Appendices

The questions discussed in this paper have been informed by the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel (further information below), national and international research, and intensive co-design with users including job seekers, employers, and employment service providers.

The Department values diverse perspectives on the design of future employment services. All views and comments are welcome. Interested parties are invited to submit their views on a new employment services model.

Submissions can be made at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science's consultation hub.

If you have questions about how to provide a submission, please email or phone 1800 805 260. Please note, submissions will not be accepted via email.

Unless requested otherwise, submissions will be published at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science's consultation hub.

The closing date for submissions is 5:00 pm EST Friday 3 August 2018.

Community consultation

Alongside receiving views in response to the Public Discussion Paper, the Department will consult with users and other stakeholders who have an interest in employment services.

The Department will be holding a series of events in capital cities and in selected regional areas across the nation to discuss how the new model can be designed to better help job seekers into work and meet the needs of employers.

While it may not be possible for everyone with an interest to attend these sessions, your views are important. Your response to the Public Discussion Paper, along with that of others, will help to inform the Panel’s report to Government in October 2018 outlining a proposal for reform.

The Department will then consult further with users to refine the model, see below.

The consultative design approach will ensure that the new model will work for those who use it, while delivering better employment outcomes in a way which can respond to the changes and challenges of the future.

Committed to User Centred Design

The Department is collaborating with user-centred design experts, ThinkPlace, to consult with the system users including job seekers, employers, and existing service providers. This is being done through a series of fieldwork where Department staff and ThinkPlace experts meet directly with users in their homes, communities and businesses.

This work is helping to inform the design for a future model by better understanding the needs of users and testing possible approaches with them. This information is provided to the Panel to help inform their deliberations, and has been reflected in the Public Discussion Paper. Panel members have also participated as observers in the field to hear first hand from job seekers and other users.

Further user-centred research will be undertaken to refine the future model following robust community consultations.

The Department and ThinkPlace are handling participants’ feedback and data carefully, consistent with the Privacy Act 1988. The work has been approved by the Australian National University Ethics Board.

Why are employment services changing?

The work reflects that Australia’s economy, workplaces and jobs are being transformed by technology, and employment services need to adapt to respond to these changes and the work of the future.

This presents an opportunity to consider factors in providing services beyond 2020, including:

  • advancements in technology and how these may be harnessed to better deliver employment services;
  • new thinking on how to support Australians find work, particularly disadvantaged job seekers; and
  • supporting businesses to meet their staffing needs now and into the future.

Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel

The Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, appointed an Expert Advisory Panel ('the Panel') in January 2018 to help shape the design of future employment services. The Panel is independently chaired by Ms Sandra McPhee AM.
View the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel Terms of Reference.

Members of the panel are from a range of fields and have broad experiences and expertise. This includes employer, provider and welfare groups' representatives, as well as a labour market economist and an expert in business transformation. The list of members is below:

List of members

Name Position Organisation
Sandra McPhee AM - Chair Non-Executive Director St. Vincent’s Health Australia
Caryn Katsikogianis Chief People Officer Woolworths Group
Peter Davidson Senior Adviser Australian Council of Social Services
Chris Blake Executive General Manager, Group Services Australia Post
Prof. Jeff Borland Truby Williams Professor of Economics University of Melbourne
Nick Debere Interim CEO Jobs Australia
Sally Sinclair CEO National Employment Services Association
Allan McCallum Chairman Tassal
Wally Tallis Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer Indigenous Business Australia
Matt O’Sullivan Employment and Workforce Development Specialist
Dr Susan Neuhaus CSC President Minda Inc
Robert Pennicott Managing Director Pennicott Wilderness Journeys
Karen Sheldon AM Managing Director Karen Sheldon Catering
Jenny Lambert Director, Employment Education and Training Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Kate Carnell AO Ombudsman Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
Martin Hehir Deputy Secretary Department of Jobs and Small Business

The Panel operates with assistance and secretariat support provided by the Department.

Current employment services

Employment services delivered under jobactive are achieving positive outcomes for job seekers. The jobactive arrangements will continue to provide employment services until the contract ends in mid-2020 and new arrangements are phased in.

Online Employment Services Trial

Consistent with the Government’s digital transformation agenda, the Department of Jobs and Small Business is trialling digital solutions to better support people looking for work. The Online Employment Services Trial runs for two years from 2 July 2018 and involves around 5,000, job-ready people, per year for two years (total 10,000).

The Trial is testing a platform that enables people to take personal responsibility for finding work, test whether they can self-service effectively using online services, and test the effectiveness of online monitoring of mutual obligation requirements and compliance systems.

Participation in the Trial is drawn from new job seekers registering for employment services. Those not in need of specialised assistance may be selected for the Trial. Job seekers in need of specialised assistance will continue to receive face-to-face servicing from employment providers. The Government recognises that face-to-face servicing is a critical component of any employment services model and this will continue in any future system.

More information

Updates on the progress of the development of the new arrangements will be provided on this page.

Visit the jobactive site for details on current employment services.