Video message - Chairs’ and CEOs’ Forum (CoAct)

  • Minister for Employment
  • Minister for Women
  • Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
  • Senator for Western Australia


Good morning.

I am delighted to provide this message for the Chairs and CEOs of COAct.

You fill a crucial gap by supporting vulnerable people in our community.

Thank you for all of the excellent work you do, especially in terms of your efforts to help people into employment.

I, and the Government, believe that the best form of welfare is a job.

However I am also aware that there can be many barriers which prevent people from getting a job.

That’s why community-based approaches that look at the needs of the whole person when considering employment options are vital.

That is why the Government’s redesign of jobactive has emphasised the need for service providers to move away from training just for training’s sake, and instead look at what can be done to address the specific needs of each individual.

This is where the community-based approach favoured by CoAct is so effective and so important, with the individual placed at the centre of a tailored support package.

The irony is that as our world becomes more connected through the internet and travel, some people are actually becoming more isolated.

Not everyone has internet access or the foundation skills of literacy and numeracy.

Not everyone has interpersonal and so‑called ‘soft’ or employability skills that will help them find and keep a rewarding job.

For those who are disconnected from their community or vulnerable in other ways, it is vital that we support them to become connected, active in their community and active in the job market.

We called our new flagship programme jobactive, because the idea of activating individuals and communities is central to getting and keeping a job, and in doing so helping a community thrive.

CoAct has much to offer in this new environment, and of course has a long and proud history of service to the community and the nation.

I commend you for recognising the need to rebrand and refresh your activities in support of your core belief of providing access to social and economic opportunities for all Australians.

We are seeking strong and positive outcomes for individuals and employers rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all, box-ticking approach.

Many of your members have already been moving down this path already.

I believe CoAct and other peak groups have a unique role to play in helping all your members understand this new outcomes-based approach and guide the necessary cultural changes to deliver in this new environment.

I am cognisant of the fact that the community sector is an important source of innovation and will help contribute to the development of best practice.

Again, support for innovation is embedded in the design of jobactive and our other programmes.

We welcome innovative ideas to ensure we achieve the best results.

While appropriate accountability and integrity in the use of public funds is paramount, we have I believe reduced red tape and its associated burdens for organisations.

Innovation is also embedded in the design of the upcoming Youth Employment Innovations.

Community‑based organisations will be awarded grants to explore and deliver projects to help young people at risk of long-term unemployment.

An important feature of these grants is that the selected organisations will work with the Department of Employment to build the evidence base to inform the design of future service delivery and policy.

In this and other ways, we are moving towards a co-design approach, where in the future we expect to draw on your rich policy expertise in the design of our programmes. 

CoAct and your members have an enormous contribution to make in support of the Government’s agenda - from the Youth Employment Innovations to the National Work Experience Programme, the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme to support unemployed people into their own business.

As we roll out new programmes and approaches, I implore you to provide regular feedback so we can identify any issues and address them quickly.

I wish you well with your deliberations today and look forward to a future opportunity to meet with you all.

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