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ASBFEO welcomes employment services system reform

ASBFEO welcomes employment services system reform

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has welcomed Labor’s policy announcement to overhaul the employment services system jobactive.

  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • January 11, 2019
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The opposition employment services spokeswoman, Terri Butler, announced this week that Labor plans to launch a massive overhaul of the current employment system.

The $6 billion jobactive system is a “box-ticking” exercise that has lost the trust of employers, Ms Butler said.

The ASBFEO has praised Labor's plans, explaining that the current system is not meeting the needs of small business operators in Australia.

She revealed that most small business owners don't look to jobactive for their recruitment needs.

“The recent government review of employment services report, I Want to Work: Employment Services 2020, shows only 4 per cent of employers used the jobactive system in 2018,” Ms Carnell said.

“Even back in 2007 it was only used by 18 per cent of employers, which in itself is a very low take-up rate.”

Under the current jobactive system, a network of employment service providers assist employers and job seekers, with job seekers required to meet “mutual obligations”.

According to Ms Butler, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the system isn't working, with job seekers often placed into insecure work.

Small businesses find the current system unsatisfactory, the ASBFEO explained.

“We hear the same stories by small business owners across the country on their efforts to employ through the current system – they end up with applicants who are unskilled or unsuitable,” Ms Carnell added.

“There needs to be better matching of jobseeker skills and the needs of small businesses.”

She noted that employers need the right person for the job, “otherwise they are wasting time, and time is particularly precious for small business owners”.

The government is shortly expected to consider the I Want To Work report and its findings, and has said there will be further engagement with key stakeholders on the recommendations.

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