New jobs are created by a positive economic environment, business leadership and innovation. Government-funded employment services need to connect the unemployed to these opportunities, and strong policies are needed to improve workforce participation across all disadvantaged groups.
Employment services provided by the Federal Government through Jobactive and disability services networks need to be employer/demand-focused and deliver services to more employers than under the current system. The employment service provider needs to have two clients: the jobseeker and the employer. This will benefit everyone involved.
Finding jobs for the most disadvantaged would be easier if the provider had more jobs available and offered a broader service. Service providers need to work in partnership with industry organisations to improve the profile and scope of the service to employers.
Assisting disadvantaged people to get and keep a job benefits the individual, their employer and the whole economy and society. The Australian Chamber’s Employ Outside the Box initiative promotes to enterprises the business case for employing jobseekers from marginalised groups, including young people, indigenous people, people with disability and mature-age jobseekers. This educational approach is more effective than quotas imposed on employers, as it emphasises the benefit without unnecessary regulation.
Many disadvantaged people need support to transition into work. Employment outcomes can be improved with a pre-employment focus on language, literacy, numeracy and employability skills, along with post-placement support in the form of mentoring and the provision of vocational skills.
Greater efficiency in the labour market can be achieved through a strong emphasis on career development. Governments and enterprises develop skills and invest in education and training. But the return on investment can be limited if the individual is not suitable for the chosen career path. Understanding the requirements and job opportunities of an occupation is important for school leavers, and anyone thinking of changing careers.