The Australian Government’s reforms to employment services will help reduce the gap in employment for Indigenous Australians, the Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker said today.
“Today’s Closing the Gap report shows that there is more work to be done to ensure that Indigenous Australians are sharing in the benefits of work as much as other Australians,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“There are around 74,000 Indigenous job seekers currently receiving help through Job Services Australia.
“If we are to close the gap, it is vital that Indigenous job seekers receive the support they need to find and keep a job.
“That’s why the Government has made a number of changes to employment service arrangements that will come into effect from 1 July 2015.
“For the first time, there will be new Indigenous Outcome Targets to ensure that employment providers are finding jobs for Indigenous job seekers at the same rate as for other job seekers in their region.
“Providers will not be allowed to get away with ignoring the needs of Indigenous job seekers and letting people drift into long-term unemployment.
“Providers will be held to account for their performance in meeting these targets.
“A poor performance will affect an employment provider’s star ratings, and this will have an impact on whether they will be given any future business from the Government.
“In addition to the new targets, the new model is much more focused on payment for results – so providers have a stronger financial incentive to make sure they are helping people into real jobs, not just training for training’s sake.
“Indigenous job seekers who have been unemployed for six months will also be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to $6500 and have access to funding for targeted training that meets the needs of local employers.
“The Australian Government is serious is about making sure our publicly funded employment services deliver high-quality services to Indigenous job seekers and help them into work.
“These reforms are designed to ensure that our employment providers are proactive in working to better match Indigenous Australians to local employers.
“I welcome the support I have received from the employment services sector for these reforms and encourage all providers to recommit to closing the gap in employment for Indigenous Australians.”
Further details on the Government’s new employment services model are available at www.employment.gov.au