Mission Australia 2013 Employer Awards

Speech
  • Assistant Minister for Employment

I am delighted to be here tonight at the Mission Australia 2013 Employer Awards to recognise employers who continue to provide employment opportunities to job seekers in their community, including vulnerable Australians who face barriers to employment and are often at risk of being disconnected from work and the benefits work brings. 

This engagement between employers and Job Services Australia providers is absolutely critical to the success of our employment services model.  I believe that in the next employment services contract it is vital we further foster engagement between employers and Job Services providers, to ensure job seekers are given the right support to help them succeed in employment.  There is a partnership between Job Services Australia providers and employers, to develop job seekers, training them up and making them valuable employees.

I recognise that for businesses there is a risk to bear, ensuring that the job seeker is the right fit, and taking on the task of training new employees.  Here, Job Services Australia providers like Mission Australia are doing a great job in matching people with positions, and can support the training on offer by the employer.  But we need to take this one step further. 

I want employers to immediately think of Job Services providers when they have a vacancy to fill.  I want all employers to know that when a Job Services provider refers a job seeker to them, it is someone who will be the right fit for the job.

The government plan to boost workforce participation includes a mix of incentives and increased obligations and these include:

  • providing incentives for employers to take on seniors;
  • a Job Commitment Bonus for young long-term unemployed Australians who get a job and remain off welfare;
  • a Relocation Assistance payment for young job seekers who move to take up a job;
  • a Tasmanian Jobs Programme that provides incentives for employers to hire Tasmanian job seekers;
  • reinvigorating Mutual Obligation to ensure that people of working age are working, or if not, are undertaking a Work for the Dole activity, gaining real skills;
  • Work for the Dole for the long-term unemployed under 50 years of age; and
  • suspending the Dole for people under the age of 30 in areas where unskilled work is available.

We know that the best form of welfare is getting a job and the Australian Government has committed to delivering two million new jobs over the next decade.

The government believes that every Australian who is capable of working should be employed in a job and earning a wage — and if not they should be working for the Dole. It is vital we keep people engaged, and give them the skills they need to work, and mutual obligation will continue to underpin future employment services contracts.

On the topic of the next contract, as you all know, the contracts for both JSA and DES–DMS expire on 30 June 2015.

The government is currently considering all of the feedback received as a result of the consultations undertaken in the first half of the year about the employment services model to apply from July 2015.

I want to work with the industry and employers to ensure that we have the best possible employment services system — to help the most disadvantaged Australians find work. I will welcome your individual feedback about the current contract, and where we go from here.

I recognise that much of the criticism to date stems from an overload of red tape.  Here we have made a commitment to cut government red tape for businesses by $1 billion a year. So I am particularly interested in your views on reducing red tape and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the contractual requirements, administration and job seeker compliance.

In closing, I would like to thank Toby Hall, the CEO of Mission Australia for inviting me here this evening, to share this celebration of success with you.  I acknowledge the high esteem that Mission Australia is held in- in particular your provision of support to disadvantaged Australians, including support for youth, families and children, the homeless and the unemployed and the delivery of educational and early learning services, housing services, and employment services.

I offer my hearty congratulations to all the awards recipients and nominees for your outstanding work.  You are the ones who give job seekers real hope, creating opportunity for Australians.  This is an incredibly rewarding and important role you play, and I thank you for all that you do.

I certainly look forward to working with Mission Australia and the rest of the sector, in advancing Australia’s employment services into the future, and giving our job seekers a brighter future.  

For more information

Media mailbox: media@employment.gov.au