Jesuit Social Services has seen how the current employment services system, with its focus on compliance and meeting narrowly prescribed outcomes, is failing the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

As a starting point, we believe that for this group of people, the employment and wider human services system needs to broaden its focus from the narrow aim of securing short-term employment. Instead, disadvantaged Australians should be supported on a journey to social inclusion that can be measured against a wider range of social outcomes.

In our submission to the Senate Education and Employment References Committee’s Inquiry into the appropriateness and effectiveness of the objectives, design, implementation and evaluation of jobactive, we identify four key areas where reform is needed:

  • providing quality support to build people’s capabilities — including lower caseloads, targeted assistance and more effective partnerships between providers;
  • ensuring pathways to meaningful participation — including a focus on building foundational learning skills and participation in prevocational training;
  • transforming organisations — including more actively exploring the role of business as an enabler of social inclusion; and
  • welfare reforms — recognising that the most vulnerable people will not succeed without adequate support, Jesuit Social Services endorses ACOSS’s campaign to raise the single rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments.

Based on evidence of good practice and our own grounded experience of what works, we call on the Australian Government to develop long term place-based initiatives targeted to communities of greatest disadvantage, that work with community, industry and employers to create sustainable jobs and pathways to employment.

Download your copy of our Submission to the Senate Education and Employment References Committee’s inquiry into jobactive