WorkForce Australia users invited to contribute to inquiry

Employers and job-seekers encouraged to be 'honest, direct, and bold' in comments

WorkForce Australia users invited to contribute to inquiry

A parliamentary committee is asking past users of WorkForce Australia to share their experiences as part of its inquiry into the employment services system.

Submissions are being sought from individuals who used the Workforce Australia system as well as employers who have used it for recruiting and other experts.

The Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services has published a Submissions Guide that includes key issues, themes, and insights from the committee's preliminary investigations of the much-criticized system.

"The submission guide will make it easier for people to contribute as the employment services system is very complex and the inquiry is very broad. The guide also invites expert submitters to assist the Committee by helping to answer a range of specific questions as clearly and concisely as possible," said Julian Hill MP, committee chair, in a statement.

"Please be honest, direct, and bold in your submissions."

The committee is accepting submissions through February 28, 2023.

WorkForce Australia is an employment services system that replaced JobActive. It was initially touted as a more efficient and effective system that would help Australians to find, keep, change, or create new jobs.

However, just weeks after its launch, the system drew multiple complaints from jobseekers.

Hill attributed the issues to the Australian government doing "the same thing over and over but expecting different results" when it comes to its employment services system.

"This has led to a system which failed to effectively invest in Australian jobseekers and to support people into sustainable employment, and which has failed to engage and assist the vast majority of employers."

The Parliamentary committee was announced in August, just a month after WorkForce Australia was launched.

"This inquiry is a comprehensive, first-principles review of Workforce Australia hence nothing is off the table," Hill said. "We are actively questioning all assumptions about the design and implementation of employment services in Australia, as well as a range of other issues related to jobseekers' and employers' interactions with employment services. Fundamental aspects of the system require re‑examination."


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