Workforce Australia Employment Services Committee continues hearings

THE Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services will continue its inquiry at a public hearing in Canberra on Wednesday,  May 17, with a focus on First Nations peoples, people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people with experience of the justice system.

The committee will hear from peak and representative bodies and government agencies, as well as from organisations representing the social enterprise and social ventures sector.

Committee Chair, Julian Hill MP, said, "It's a myth that all unemployed people are ready to work or able to do the jobs available. In fact, the data shows a giant mismatch between what employers are seeking and the enormously complex caseload of unemployed people including skills gaps, disabilities and illness.

"There is strong evidence that the current system has failed to invest in people and is not adapted to their diverse needs, backgrounds, and circumstances," he said.

"Trotting out stereotypes of ‘dole bludgers’ who should just ‘get a job’ will get a headline but won’t actually change anything. Long-term unemployment won’t be reduced without understanding the actual experiences of people.

"Listening is critical so we can make recommendations for a future employment services system that meets the needs of all Australians. Many people argue that social enterprises can contribute much more to helping the most disadvantaged jobseekers to remain engaged and prepare for employment in the open market’.

Further information about the inquiry, including Terms of Reference, future public hearings, published submissions and hearing transcripts, is available on the inquiry website.

Public hearing details

Date              17 May 2023Time              8.45am – 3pmLocation      Committee Room 1R3, Parliament House, Canberra                           and by videoconferenceWitnesses  Australian Council of Social Service                          Economic Justice Australia                          National Indigenous Australians Agency                          Department of Employment and Workplace Relations                          Coalition of Peaks                          Settlement Council of Australia                          Social Ventures Australia                          Social Enterprise Australia                          Justice Reform Initiative                          Western Australian Association for Mental Health

The hearing will be live broadcast via the Parliament’s Watch, Read, Listen website.



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