Outcome 1

Deputy Secretary, Employment, Martin Hehir
Martin Hehir
Deputy Secretary, Employment

Outcome 1 aims to foster a productive and competitive labour market by developing and implementing policies and programmes that assist job seekers into work, meet employers’ needs and increase Australia’s workforce participation.

During 2014–15 the department focused on setting the agenda for employment services for the next five years. A major component of this work was designing the new employment services model—jobactive—to ensure its seamless implementation on 1 July 2015. This included developing new payment and performance arrangements and strengthening the mutual obligation framework to ensure that job seekers remain active and engaged while looking for work.

The department continued to provide efficient, effective support to Job Services Australia providers in the last year of operation of the Job Services Australia model, monitor labour market conditions in Australia, and provide quality policy advice to the government in order to maximise workforce participation and boost Australia’s productivity.

Highlights

  • In 2014–15 the Job Services Australia programme recorded its two-millionth job placement since it began on 1 July 2009.
  • The department developed the new and innovative employment services model, jobactive, which on 1 July 2015 will replace Job Services Australia.
  • The department established a new quality assurance framework for jobactive providers, for implementation from 1 July 2015 as part of the jobactive Deed 2015–2020.
  • The department successfully phased in the Work for the Dole programme in 18 selected areas across Australia. Work for the Dole Coordinators began work nationally on 1 May 2015 and are part of jobactive.
  • The department provided policy advice to government on the development of the $330 million jobs package, including a flagship Youth Employment Strategy, as part of the Growing Jobs and Small Business package announced in the 2015–16 Budget.
  • The department organised the 2014 G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting, chaired by Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz, Minister for Employment, in Melbourne during September. The group of international ministers reached agreement on key global issues such as female participation and workplace safety.
  • During 2014–15, 117 new employers committed to the Corporate Champions programme, bringing the total number of employers assisted to 486.

Challenges

The department prepared for the implementation of jobactive in addition to managing existing employment services and introducing Work for the Dole in 18 selected areas. Ensuring a smooth transition and continuity of services for job seekers and employers from Job Services Australia to jobactive was a priority.

The challenge of ensuring that job seekers were in Work for the Dole places in a timely fashion during 2014–15 was addressed by communicating clearly with Job Services Australia providers about their contractual obligations and the benefits of the Work for the Dole programme to job seekers.

Labour market conditions continued to influence the success of job seekers in securing work and, as a result, Job Services Australia’s performance against key performance indicators. The department’s Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences showed that recruitment conditions remained challenging for job seekers in 2014–15, with average applicant numbers well above levels recorded in previous years.

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