The Australian Government today released the Request for Tender for Employment Services 2015-20, and invited bids from organisations that have the capacity and determination to help more job seekers find and keep a job.
Minister for Employment Senator Eric Abetz said the Government was investing $5.1 billion in a new model to operate from 1 July 2015 to better meet the needs of job seekers, employers and employment-services providers.
“The Government is committed to helping more job seekers move from welfare to work so as to enjoy the financial and personal benefits that work brings,” Senator Abetz said.
“To achieve this goal, the Government is seeking to contract with organisations that are focused on achieving results and have a track record of delivering high-quality services to job seekers and employers.”
Senator Abetz said the Government had taken on board feedback received during the public consultation process.
“Sixty formal submissions were received on the proposed model from a wide range of parties, including provider and consumer representatives and employers,” Senator Abetz said.
“There was broad support for the proposed model, including the increased emphasis on payment for results, more flexible servicing, a greater focus on Indigenous job seekers and reduced red tape for providers.
“The Government has made some changes in response to the feedback, including keeping job search at 20 jobs per month for most job seekers and allowing flexibility to tailor requirements to individual circumstances.
“The Government has also determined that decisions on penalties for failing to attend an appointment with an employment provider will continue to be made by the Department of Human Services.”
Assistant Minister Luke Hartsuyker said that the Government was keen to see high-performing organisations – both small and large – tendering for business.
“With this new model, the Government is seeking to ensure that our taxpayer-funded employment services system is more efficient, effective and viable over the longer term,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“That’s why we have moved to five-year contracts, introduced a mid-contract price adjustment and a new regional loading, and changed the number and size of employment regions.
“The Government recognises that the new model represents a substantial overhaul of existing arrangements.
“It is important that there is good coverage and delivery of quality services in all employment regions.
“While preference will be given to organisations that can service an entire region, the tender has built in flexibility, which allows organisations to bid to service part of an employment region if they wish.
“Changes have also been made to the purchasing process to encourage bids from partnerships and consortia which will assist small and specialist providers.
“The Government’s reforms will improve the operating environment for providers and significantly reduce the level of red tape and prescription in the model so that providers will be able to focus on what they do best – namely, helping people to find and keep a job.”
Information on the tender and purchasing process is available at www.tenders.gov.au and the tender closes on Monday, 17 November 2014.
The Government is seeking to contract for the delivery of the following services: Employment Providers; Work for the Dole Coordinators; the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme; Harvest Labour Services; and the National Harvest Labour Information Service.
Further information is available at www.employment.gov.au