Reforming future employment services

Media Release
  • Minister for Jobs and Innovation
  • Senator for Western Australia

Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash, today announced work is commencing on shaping future employment services when the current arrangements end in mid-2020.

The Australian Government is establishing an Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel to advise on the development of a future employment services model.

The completion of the current contract also provides the Government with an opportunity to look at how new technologies can support Australians looking for work to find and keep a job.

In establishing the Panel, the Government is fortunate to have secured the services of Mrs Sandra McPhee AM as the independent Chair.

Mrs McPhee has extensive leadership experience across a range of sectors and has previously served on the boards of Fairfax Media Limited, Tourism Australia, The Coles Group, AGL Energy and Australia Post.

I am confident that under Mrs McPhee’s leadership the Panel will provide sound and insightful recommendations to the Government on a future employment services model.

Other members of the Panel have been selected from a range of fields and have a broad range of experience and expertise. The Panel includes employer, provider and welfare groups’ representatives as well as a labour market economist.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash, said that the current model has achieved good outcomes, with more Australians employed through jobactive than under previous programs and at a lower cost to taxpayers.

“The Government wants to build on this record and improve services for our most disadvantaged Australians. We want to ensure employment services remain effective in an environment where rapid technological change is creating new jobs and industries,” Minister Cash said.

“Our economy, workplaces and jobs are being transformed by technology. We need an employment service system that better responds to the future of work and our changing economy."

The Department of Jobs and Small Business will undertake a pilot to test whether it is practical to deliver some employment services online and how this can be best provided to support unemployed people to find work.

The pilot will start in July 2018, involving 5,000 job-ready people a year for two years. It will trial a self-service platform that will activate and support job seekers to find work using online services. The pilot will be offered to new job seekers registering for jobactive who are job-ready and don’t require any specialised assistance.

The Government recognises that face-to-face servicing is a critical component of any employment services model and this will continue in any future system.

The Panel and pilot will ensure the views of job seekers, employers and other stakeholders are considered in the redesign of the employment services model and that early concepts undergo user testing.

The list of the members of the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel is below.

Name Position Organisation
Sandra McPhee AM - Chair Member of the Advisory Council JP Morgan
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
David Thompson AM 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 Senior Advisor GenerationOne
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


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