Workforce Australia Committee examines failures in key elements of the employment services system

THE Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services will seek evidence from key stakeholders at a public hearing in Canberra on Friday May 26, continuing its focus on people with disability and First Nations peoples.

The committee will also hear about the assistance available in Workforce Australia for people seeking self-employment, and about key issues with and opportunities to reform the jobseeker assessment process.

Committee Chair, Julian Hill MP, said, “Evidence indicates that First Nations peoples and Australians with disability are too often underserved by employment services. Reforms must fully understand the service ecosystem for these citizens, respond appropriately to their unique needs, and better connect people with employers.

“Big and interesting questions are raised by submitters regarding assessment processes. Employment services are a gateway human service, almost unique as society uses the power of the State to compel people to engage with a threat to income," Mr Hill said.

“It’s absolutely critical that the jobseeker assessment process properly identifies a person’s personal barriers and directs them to the right services and supports to become job ready. This is especially the case for disadvantaged jobseekers. Evidence suggests that current assessment tools often fail to do this. The committee is interested to learn more about best practice assessment processes used in other sectors and jurisdictions.

“Self-employment is a pathway to financial independence for many Australians, and there is evidence that participation in Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) can help build the skills and confidence of jobseekers seeking employment on the open market. It is vital that reforms to employment services consider the role of SEA, and how it and other specialised programs might be enhanced and better integrated with the broader system.”

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               26 May 2023

Time               9am – 2.30pm

Location       Committee Room 1R3, Parliament House, Canberra                           and by videoconference

Witnesses    Department of Social Services                            Department of Employment and Workplace Relations                            National Self-Employment Association                            Asuria People Services                            ABS Institute of Management                            Access Care Network Australia                            Australian Centre for Career Education                            Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation                            Yilabara Solutions

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



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