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Job Prospects collaborates with peak bodies for employment services future

  • Nov 28, 2014

Against the backdrop of a new Federal government bringing significant changes that could have a major impact on the future shape of employment services in Australia, SYC/Job Prospects has been working with industry bodies to prepare their recommendations for how that future might look. Industry peak bodies National Employment Services Association (NESA) and Jobs Australia (JA) have both launched their position documents to the sector and government.

Jobs Australia’s “A Blueprint for the future – reforming employment assistance for 2015 and beyond” is a far reaching, radical discussion paper that would suggest a complete overhaul of the current system is needed, whereas NESA’s “A roadmap for the future” suggests some tweaking to the current system is warranted; a system it deems as ‘the best in the world’.

With competing views from the two industry peak bodies and currently little policy detail, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for SYC and its sector colleagues. For SYC’s part, we, through our employment services division, Job Prospects, have been actively involved in working with and supporting both peak body organisations. In fact, SYC and Job Prospects Chief Operating Officer, David Furniss, is a member of the Jobs Australia Project 2015 Steering Committee.

The role of JA’s Steering Committee is to:

  • provide governance and oversight to Project 2015 activities, such as commissioning research by KPMG re financial modelling; market research of job seeker and employers by Sweeney Research; and supporting the work of the Nous Group in policy development
  • commission an Expert Panel, chaired by Jeff Harmer AO, to drive policy development and inform new ideas for market design and new service delivery blueprint
  • provide an expert ‘provider’ perspective on the challenges of the current system

SYC is advocating hard to ensure its clients receive the very best employment services in the future. This includes generating discussion around the plight of young people and the need for successful transition from school to work; the need to reduce the complexity of the current system to allow employment consultants to do what they do best – support people into sustainable jobs; to think out of the square and consider alternative market design options; and consider the viability and practicability of an off-benefits payment model to simplify documentary evidence requirements.

SYC is looking forward to embracing the new world of employment services and hopes that the original principles set out by the Howard government continue to be embraced by this government: “A competitive market for employment services should heighten accountability to clients and the public, improve customer responsiveness and service quality and provide for greater efficiency. With competition, clients could also exercise much greater choice, allowing for a better match between jobseeker needs and provider expertise.”

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