Statement to 4 Corners

Media Release
  • Assistant Minister for Employment

Last year the Australian Government announced its plan to overhaul Labor’s Jobs Services Australia system as it was clearly no longer meeting the needs of job seekers and employers.

Labor in Government deliberately restructured the employment services system to reward process over outcomes. The end result was too many job seekers were churned through training for training’s sake rather than helped into jobs. Labor’s system was fundamentally flawed and has let down thousands of job seekers.

The Coalition’s reforms, which start on 1 July 2015, will improve the quality of services and return the focus to payment for results. 

The new system will include more robust performance monitoring, reporting and quality assurance frameworks to safeguard against abuse. Providers will need to be certified against a new set of more rigorous quality standards to be eligible to deliver services into the future.

The outsourcing of employment services – first introduced by the Coalition in 1998 – has saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in comparison to the former CES. This model has been copied around the world.

Despite the flaws introduced by Labor, the outsourced employment services model does help people move from welfare to work. In 2014, 272,000 job seekers were placed into work, including a significant number of vulnerable job seekers who may otherwise struggle to find and keep a job.

The Coalition’s new model includes a range of new subsidies and incentives to encourage employers to hire young people, older workers, Indigenous jobseekers and the long term unemployed. Eligible job seekers can also receive financial assistance to move from an area of high unemployment to take up a job.

The Coalition’s new employment services system will undo Labor’s mistakes and restore greater integrity to the system.

If any member of the public has evidence of the misuse of taxpayer’s money by employment providers then I encourage them to report the matter to the Employment Services Tip-off line on 1300 874 536 or at estipoff@employment.gov.au

For more information

Media line: (02) 6240 8667, media@employment.gov.au