New Employment Services Model


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

The development of the new employment services model involved extensive consultation with more than 1400 stakeholders including job seekers, employment services providers, industry representatives, employers and peak bodies, and independent advice delivered by the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel in its report to Government.

The new model is being trialled in two regions from July 2019 before being rolled out nationally from July 2022.

2020-21 Budget measures to support employment outcomes

The Government is providing funding in the 2020‑21 Budget for a range of measures to support employment outcomes.

What will the new model mean for job seekers?

For job seekers, the new model will provide service options to support them to find a job, a better digital platform and more flexibility to meet mutual obligation requirements.

Digital First

Job seekers who are job-ready and digitally literate will enter Digital First and self-manage online. These job seekers will be able to access online tools to help them make informed choices about their job search, as well as a contact centre to help answer questions and provide advice via phone or email.

Regular job seeker assessments will ensure job seekers continue to receive the right service for them. Job seekers will complete and report their mutual obligations online and access assistance such as an online jobs board, job matching and training modules.

All Australians will have access to Digital First.

Digital Plus

Job seekers who need extra support will be able to access digital services and receive face-to-face support from an employment services or training provider as needed under Digital Plus. This may include training to help use the digital service, work skills training, or funding to pay for a wage subsidy, tools or a licence. Job seekers may also engage with any other complementary programs they are eligible for, such as PaTH Internships or Career Transition Assistance.

Enhanced Services

The most disadvantaged job seekers will receive Enhanced Services delivered through employment services providers. Providers will deliver a professional, individualised service to help prepare and support job seekers into work.

Providers will help address a job seeker’s barriers to work through services such as career guidance, mentoring, vocational training, assistance in accessing non-vocational services such as counselling, work experience, job placements and post-placement support.

Mutual obligations

The new model will maintain the principle of mutual obligations by introducing a points-based system that requires job seekers to take more responsibility for their pathway to employment. Job seekers may have to undertake activities earlier and more often, but will have greater flexibility and choice. The Targeted Compliance Framework will remain in place, ensuring there are consequences for those who choose not to meet their mutual obligations.

What will the model mean for providers?

Providers will be focused on job seekers requiring greater levels of support to find employment, and may have smaller caseloads.

Employment services providers will provide Enhanced Services through a contractual licence. There will be specialist licences in some regions and the number of licences in each region will be capped to ensure market stability.

There will be new payment structures, with higher up-front payments to support investment in early intervention. Outcome payments will continue to be used to reward moving job seekers into employment and will be the primary performance measure. Progress payments will recognise the completion of milestones towards employment, while bonuses will be available for achieving sustainable outcomes for long-term unemployed job seekers. More information about the payments structure being tested during the Trial is available in the New Employment Services Trial - Enhanced Services Payments Model factsheet. 

Providers that are issued a licence will face regular evaluations of performance incorporating feedback from employers and local stakeholders. Poor performers will not have their licences renewed and will exit the market, providing strong incentives to achieve outcomes.

What does the new model mean for employers?

The digital platform will provide a better service for employers including the ability to filter and search for candidates. Enhanced services will offer work experience programs, better post placement support and targeted wage subsidies to support businesses to employ job seekers.

Will other employment programs continue?

Several existing employment programs will continue to operate, complementing mainstream employment services by providing a wider range of pathways to employment. Programs to continue alongside the new model include (but are not limited to): Transition to Work, the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme and Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire).

How and when will the new model be implemented?

From July 2019 to June 2022, key elements of the new model will be trialled in Adelaide South, South Australia and Mid North Coast, New South Wales. The new settings will be tested and evaluated and enhancements made through a co-design process with providers, employers and job seekers.

The department will work closely with providers in these regions to establish and deliver the trials. Job seekers in these regions will be referred to the trial by their provider.

Current jobactive contracts will be extended until June 2022 in all other regions, while elements of the new model are tested.

Further information is available at the New Employment Services Trial page.

The New Employment Services Trial was informed, and expands upon, the existing Online Employment Services Trial, which commenced 1 July 2018.

The Online Employment Services Trial is operates in all jobactive regions and will continue to test how best to deliver online services to job seekers that will allow them to find work using a digital platform.

The Volunteer Online Employment Services Trial operates nationally and aims to test whether volunteers can self-manage effectively with online services and further tests the digital approach to service delivery.

Further information on the Online Employment Services Trial and Volunteer Online Employment Services Trial is available at the Trialling digital solutions page.

Consultation on the new system

The model was informed by extensive consultation with stakeholders, national and internal research and intensive co-design with job seekers, employers, and employment services providers. Consultation and user-design will continue during the New Employment Services Trial and during the development of the final model to be introduced from July 2022.

More information

On 16 April 2020, the Government made changes to Digital Servicing in the New Employment Services Trial region in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on these changes, you can refer to the participation fact sheets, or visit the Online Employment Service webpage.

Further details will be published on this website as they become available.

New employment services fact sheets