Employers should find it easier to recruit staff under Workforce Australia, business leaders hear
Representatives of the employment services system which replaced the Jobactive network this month have spoken at a Business Murray Bridge breakfast.
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Employers should find it easier to recruit new staff – and weed out unsuitable candidates – under Australia’s new unemployment system, Murray Bridge business leaders have heard.
Aaron Russell, from the federal Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, was the guest speaker at a Business Murray Bridge breakfast on Wednesday morning.
He spruiked the benefits of Workforce Australia, the system which replaced the old Jobactive network on July 4, to the 60 or so business leaders present.
One feature of the new system was a website where employers could create job listings and match their requirements with local job seekers’ skill sets, he said.
“Seek and the other methods of putting jobs up will still exist, but this is now a free way for employers to be able to put a job up (and) access … workers,” he said.
Another change was the fact that employment service providers would no longer be funded based on the number of people they placed in jobs, regardless of whether the jobs were suitable or whether workers stuck around long-term.
Helping people become more job-ready, and providing a quality service, would also be important, he said.
Job seekers would no longer to apply for 20 jobs per month; instead, they would receive points for various activities, including job applications, volunteer work and training.
Points targets for job seekers in the Murraylands would be 20 per cent lower than for their city counterparts.
The changes would discourage people from applying for jobs to which they were unsuited, and discourage providers from pushing them to do so, Mr Russell said.
“In the past, employment services cared about jobs, jobs, jobs and that was about it,” he said.
That hadn’t worked.
“It encouraged a kind of behaviour from employment consultants and providers’ executives to forego the need of the community, forego the need of the person and, to some extent, to forego the need of the employer just to get that person in a job,” he said.
“If they could last 12 weeks, awesome, if they could last 26 weeks, even better, payment would come … it didn’t do anyone any good.
“The new performance system for Workforce Australia is based on a more rounded and individually orientated performance structure.”
Mr Russell hoped the changes would help employers at a time when workers were getting hard to come by, with historically low levels of unemployment, an ageing population – particularly in the Murraylands – and a shortage of migrant labour to fill the gaps.
Tell Murray Bridge News about your experiences with Workforce Australia: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about Workforce Australia: www.workforceaustralia.gov.au.
More information about the points-based activity system: www.dese.gov.au.
More information about Business Murray Bridge: Search for “Business Murray Bridge” on Facebook.
Disclosure: The author is a Business Murray Bridge committee member.