Release type: Transcript


Triple M Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business


Subject/s:  Jobs Hub announcement

EDDIE MCGUIRE: The Employment Minister is Michaelia Cash. Michaelia has come up with, I think, one of the great moves forward in as far as trying to get the economy going. She's joining us on the line now. It's a jobs web site, it’s called Jobs Hub, and it really is pulling together the strands of what everyone has been talking about.

Darce, I've had a lot of people, particularly the football industry, who have now been stood down or jobs, maybe in the long term, may not be there once we go through all the drama that happens. Everyone in society is going through this, everyone wants to get a job. There are certain areas that need jobs. There are areas where the jobs are gone. And Michaelia Cash joins us this morning. Minister, welcome to Triple M’s Hot Breakfast.

MINISTER CASH: It's great to talk to you, Eddie. And say hi to Luke as well.

LUKE DARCY: Thanks, Michaelia.

EDDIE MCGUIRE: Michaelia now, take us through this. I reckon this is an absolute ripper. So the floor is yours, tell us what we can do and how this can be put out there so people can access it.

MINISTER CASH: Okay, so all you need to do is go online and Google ‘Department of Employment - Jobs Hub’. It’ll literally take you to the page you need and you click on Jobs Hub. And what it's going to do, as a potential employee, it is going to help you find advertised vacancies.

So Eddie and Luke, plenty of employers out there, we know, have been adversely affected by COVID-19 - they're reducing their workforces. But what we also know is there are some areas of the economy which actually have an increased demand for workers. And in fact, the employers and the companies are actively recruiting.

So what I've had my department to do is literally pull together from around 3,000 job board websites across Australia, who those employers are, the big employers with the multiple job opportunities across Australia. At the same time, just say you're sitting like I am today in Perth, I'd like to go out and get a job, I click on Search Jobs by Location, I click on Perth, and it will tell me exactly what jobs have been advertised in the past week. I can then actually click on and go to that particular job and make an application.

So, it is as simple as possible. There are jobs out there and we want people, if you are looking for work, to be able to make that connection and get a job as easily as possible.

LUKE DARCY: Michaelia, I love the idea of the Hub. It sounds really user friendly and simple and, as you said, there are pockets of the economy, the supermarkets and the pharmacies, and some of the construction industry – that is still going really, really well. So you’ll be able to link people from one industry that's shut down.

Can I ask you - I’ve got interests, passion, and history in the hospitality sector, which is obviously really struggling at the moment but can you take some of that innovation you think as we come out of this - and we will come out of it - is there an opportunity you guys are looking forward to around wanting to get as many of these people back into the workforce when we are able to return to business as usual?

MINISTER CASH: Oh absolutely. And Luke, thank you for being so positive about the fact that we will get out of this because you are right. We will get out of this. It is a global issue. The Prime Minister has said it will go here for about six months. But the whole point of everything we are doing as a government now but in particular with the JobKeeper announcement that we announced recently for around six million workers, it's all about keeping that connection, employer-employee. The Jobs Hub is for people who want to get work, ensuring that they continue in the workforce so that when we do get through this and we come out the other side, our employees have either been in a job; up skilled themselves whilst they've been at home and have been stood down, and businesses can get back up and running, with their workforce, as quickly as possible.

LUKE DARCY: Well Michaelia, I think with yourself in your portfolio – which is Minister for Employment Skills, Small and Family Business; Josh Frydenberg is the Treasurer; and up as, even as high as the Prime Minister – what you just described, with keeping that connection between the employers and the employees has been just so wonderful in the last week. So many people I’ve spoken to who were employers who were just dreading the situation of having to let go people who have become part of their family, who’ve kept their businesses alive, they’ve built wonderful rapport with them. And then the other way round, employees who just now know that they can get through this next period. This is, I reckon, the next step is you clearly have rolled it out.

MINISTER CASH: Absolutely. Look, we’ve had a lot of announcements and they’ve been incredibly positive announcements, but things will start to settle down and people will get into the next phase of the COVID-19 and we’ll get into a routine. The most important thing is – and you just hit the nail on the head – you know, whenever I talk to particular small businesses, what is the first thing they say to me? Michaelia, what am I going to do for my employees? And that announcement in relation to the JobKeeper arrangement, the wage subsidy, it is giving them that hope that they needed; that reassurance; that confidence that they can now do the right thing by their employees. And as you said with the employees, they actually want to work. They want to maintain that connection with their employer; they don’t necessarily want to have to go on to Centrelink. So, we’ve given hundreds of thousands of people that opportunity now to maintain that connection, and actually it’s a really big psychological connection as well.

LUKE DARCY: Absolutely.

MINSTER CASH: But also, so many employers have actually called me and said: we thought we were going to have to shut down. But because we now know we can actually get through this with that $1,500 going to our employees we will keep our doors open and we will do what we can to keep our employees in work. And if people have to go into hibernation it is that ability to communicate with your employees. For employees every fortnight, you know what they’re going to get? They’re going to get a pay check from their employer - $1500, but it is a pay check from their employer that’s had to go through the ATO and come to them through the payroll. That is a huge step forward, in particular in terms of the psychology of where Australians are at.

LUKE DARCY: Yeah another great point you make is keeping everyone connected together that way rather than on the Centrelink queue has been fantastic leadership. Yeah.

MINISTER CASH: And you know, for those who have to go on Centrelink, and there are some who will, we also want to make that as easy for you. So, what JobKeeper does is it takes the burden off that system and allows that system to be freed up. And I know Stuart Robert’s done a great job of getting, I think it’s around 5,000 additional workers on literally in a very short space of time. But it frees up that system, gives it more capacity. And it ensures that people are now, as if I was at work getting paid in the normal manner through my employer’s payroll via JobKeeper.

LUKE DARCY: Now Michaelia, it’s a fantastic initiative. Go to the Department of Employment and look up Jobs Hub. There’s already 26,000 jobs listed and automatically be updated.

MINISTER CASH: Yep. And its real time medium, Luke, its real time. So, when you actually do click on to a job, it is a job that’s there.

LUKE DARCY: Fantastic stuff.

MINISTER CASH: It’s there. It’s not something that was there three weeks ago and has gone; it’s a job that is there currently.

LUKE DARCY: And while you’re at it Michaelia, if you run into Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest over there in Perth who has just kicked in $160m to fly in the medical supplies, give him a pat on that back for us as well.

MINISTER CASH: You know what? Look, and isn’t it amazing, all Australians have to step up and I think everybody is - I really do. But also isn’t it great that people who have that capacity, like Andrew Forrest, are prepared to put their hands up and say: you know, I can do my bit, I’ve got a bit more than others and this is what I’m going to do.

LUKE DARCY: Thank you very much Minister, we appreciate you for coming on.

MINISTER CASH: Good on you guys, have a great day.

LUKE DARCY: Michaelia Cash joining us, the Employment Minister.