Communiqué for the New Employment Services Reference Group - 4 December 2019

Monday 20 January 2020

The third meeting of the New Employment Services Trial Reference Group was held in Canberra on 4 December 2019.

Update on New Employment Services Trial (NEST) and the Online Employment Services Trial (OEST)

The members were provided with an update on the meetings of the Trial Region Working Groups, the progress of the transition of job seekers from jobactive to the NEST and the OEST. They noted the OEST had been in place for 18 months and the transition of job seekers from jobactive to NEST on 30 November 2019 had progressed well.

Points Based Activation

Members were provided an overview of the progress to design a Points Based Activation System (PBAS) for the NEST, noting that a points based approach will allow job seekers more self-direction to meet mutual obligation requirements. Members noted the work currently being undertaken as part of User Centred Design testing to inform how PBAS will be implemented.

Members discussed the need to allow flexibility, while providing options for job seekers to meet their obligations. The value attributed to tasks was also discussed and agreed that an update on the design of the PBAS would be included in the forward agenda.

Employer Engagement

The department provided an overview of the key components of the strategy to reduce inappropriate applications, improve connections between employers and potential employees while incentivising providers, and continue to improve employer interface.

Members were given a demonstration of the current online digital dashboard that supports employers’ engagement with employment services and discussed possible linkages between the dashboard and other services publically available.

The department provided an overview of the Jobs and Education Data Infrastructure prototypes being developed to help improve the matching between employers and job seekers. It will help to:

  1. better match their past work history and skills with available positions
  2. identify core competencies required for particular positions, and
  3. identify skills gaps to target training.

Members noted that the department is continuing to develop and test the skills matching tools with users.

Job Seeker Servicing

Members discussed the department’s early thinking on servicing and requirements for job seekers in the NEST. This includes the intention for job seekers to have greater choice and flexibility around what activities they undertake. Members also noted that job seekers self-managing through the digital service will undertake an intensive activity after four months, will be expected to diversify their activities after six months, and to intensify their efforts after 12 months. The department noted that it will continue to work with job seekers and other stakeholders throughout the NEST to test thinking and evaluate progress in this area.

Forward Meeting Schedule

The next meeting of the Reference Group has been scheduled for 20 February 2020 and the following items will be discussed:

  • Labour market update
  • A review and update on the transition to NEST arrangements to date
  • Communication Strategy
  • Digital training which will be available to all job seekers
  • Points Based Activation for job seekers - update
  • Updates on the Evaluation Strategy, NEST provider meeting and red tape reduction.

This meeting will also include a joint meeting with the Adelaide South Trial Region Working Group.

The forward agenda for the meeting on 18 March 2020 is anticipated to cover:

  • Update on Points Based Activation design
  • Opportunities for red tape reduction
  • Employment Fund reporting
  • Performance – tracking and measuring.