Consultation to inform the new employment services


Government employment services are being transformed to provide better services for job seekers and employers and a better system for providers.

The new system will be piloted in two regions from July 2019 before being rolled-out nationally from July 2022.

The model was informed by extensive consultation with stakeholders, national and internal research and intensive co-design with job seekers, employers, and employment service providers.

The findings from this consultation process are reported in The Employment Services Expert Panel report I Want to Work and ‘The Next Generation of Employment Services: Discussion Paper’.

The Employment Services Expert Panel report

The Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel’s report I Want to Work: Employment Services 2020 was provided to Government for on 15 October 2018.

The panel’s report highlighted the performance of the current employment services, jobactive, in providing over 1.2 million job placements since its launch in July 2015. Stakeholders suggested, in moving forward, there were numerous opportunities to enhance employment service delivery by simplification, harnessing the use of digital technology and cutting red tape.


The panel’s report was informed by extensive consultation held across Australia with:

  • employers
  • providers (training, education and employment)
  • job seekers
  • community organisations (including housing, health and welfare)
  • unions
  • think tanks/academia
  • industry
  • other governments (state and local).

During the consultation period:

  • more than 560 people attended 23 roundtables and community forums held in metropolitan and regional centres
  • 556 people participated in design research workshops, focus groups or one-on-one interviews
  • 450 submissions were received in response to the public consultation paper 'The Next Generation of Employment Services 2020'

A summary of stakeholder feedback is available in The Nous Group Report, 'Employment Services 2020: Consultation report'.

A summary of responses to the public discussion paper is also available and can be found in The Social Research Centre Report, 'The Next Generation of Employment Services: summary of consultation responses'.

The Government appointed an independent Expert Advisory Panel in January 2018 to help shape the future design of employment services in Australia. The panel was chaired by Mrs Sandra McPhee AM.

View the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel Terms of Reference.

Members of the panel included employer, provider, and welfare group 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

Public Discussion Paper

The Department of Jobs and Small Business released ‘The Next Generation of Employment Services: Discussion Paper’ in June 2018. The paper was informed by the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel, national and international research, and intensive co-design with stakeholders including job seekers, employers, and employment service providers.

You can view the 296 published submissions at Future of Employment Services Consultation Published Responses.

Committed to User Centred Design

The department collaborated with user-centred design experts, ThinkPlace, to consult with stakeholders of the employment services system.

The information gained from this research was provided to the panel for their consideration. Panel members also participated as observers during the research to hear first-hand from job seekers and other stakeholders.