House debates

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Constituency Statements


10:06 am

Photo of Nick ChampionNick Champion (Spence, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Prior to the pandemic and prior to the election the government undertook a review of the jobactive system. It's a system that I take an interest in because my constituents do need help with employment from time to time. The expert advisory panel to help shape the future design of employment services in Australia found in relation to the jobactive system that a substantial number of jobseekers were able to find work themselves with limited or no employment service provider assistance and that the compliance requirements in many cases didn't just not help the jobseeker but actively hindered them in gaining employment. That's a pretty damning thing from the expert panel. It found that disadvantaged jobseekers were not receiving the intensive individualised support that they needed because of high case loads. So the system was failing the jobseekers.

The report also found that employers also received no assistance from the jobactive system. In fact, they found it to be not just a hindrance but they avoided it like the plague. Human resources managers stay a mile away from it because they know that, if they engage with that system, they are then bombarded with a whole range of material and CVs that are not suited to the types of employment they're seeking.

So we have a system that is failing jobseekers, failing business and failing the community. This wouldn't be such a problem except for the fact that we're spending an enormous amount of money on it—$1.3 billion in 2022-23. If you do a rough calculation, you see that, from 2015-16 to 2022-23, $10 billion will be wasted on this system that does not deliver for jobseekers and does not deliver for business. You'd be better off taking $10 billion and burning it in the car park at the Elizabeth shopping centre. This is an absolute scandal.

We should be thinking as we emerge from COVID-19 about how we better design these services so that they actually deliver for employers, for industry, productivity and, most importantly, for jobseekers. All I've seen for many years is a revolving number of employers going through the system—leasing offices, hiring workers and going through the same churn with the same people, making them do the same things and jump the same hurdles for the same pathetic results. We shouldn't be doing this. It's an outrage.