What is 'Workforce Australia' and its new Points Based Activation System (PBAS)?

HRD gives a rundown of the latest employment service's essentials

What is 'Workforce Australia' and its new Points Based Activation System (PBAS)?

Starting 4 July, the Australian Government would transition to the new employment service, Workforce Australia, replacing the current Jobactive.

Based on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), Workforce Australia would be a more efficient and effective system for all Australians to find, keep, change jobs or create their own job. The new employment system will also:

  • Provide eligible individuals with accessible support online or through services delivered by providers depending on their personal needs
  • Help providers assist people who need extra support by redirecting job-ready individuals to online services
  • Assist businesses in recruiting staff with the proper skills to match their needs, ensuring a more efficient recruitment process.

The DESE also said a human interaction would assess the current needs and personal circumstances of individuals participating in employment services and, depending on eligibility, will be connected with a Workforce Australia employment service.

Meanwhile, individuals referred to online services can continue self-managing in online services or choose to receive provider services.

Workforce Australia Online

 A key feature of the new employment service is the Workforce Australia Online, which would support potential workers with online tools, information, and even training to help them move into employment.

A Digital Services Contact Centre (DSCC) staff would assist everyone accessing the online platform to help participants who are assessed as job-ready and are referred to Workforce Australia Online Services.

 The platform is toll-free and would aid each individual’s needs and answer people’s relevant concerns regarding employment, such as:

  • Information and technical support
  • Assistance in tailoring their points target and managing their mutual obligation requirements
  • Access to education and training and other supports
  • Access to financial aid through the Digital Employment Fund. 

Points Based Activation System (PBAS)

The Workforce Australia also includes the flexible PBAS, which individuals will use to meet their mutual obligation requirements.

 According to DESE, they created the PBAS in response to recommendations that a more flexible system was necessary, which allowed people to have a better choice in meeting their mutual obligation requirements in return for income support. Under the PBAS:

  • Individuals are placed under several points, or a ‘points target,’ which they need to reach each monthly reporting period
  • This point target is designed to consider the individuals’ personal situations and their local labour market conditions.

Individuals wishing to review their target points can communicate with their provider or staff in the department’s DSCC.

When asked about the concept of the points system in the new employment service, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Tony Burke said it is “too late to not have such a system in place.”

“It’s about getting inside it and making it logical and making sure that when all these contracts take effect in a couple of weeks, we’ve actually got a system that helps long term unemployed people connect themselves and get working again,” he told Sky News.

Jobactive vs. Workforce Australia

Compared to Jobactive, Workforce Australia would provide greater flexibility and diversity of options for people to meet their mutual obligation requirements through the PBAS.

Under the current Jobactive system, people are required to do up to 20 job searches per month, and it does not recognize the wide range of other tasks that people can do to become job-ready and get a job.

However, under Workforce Australia, PBAS will recognize job interviews, obtaining a driver’s license, volunteering, online learning modules, and a range of other tasks and activity options.           

The DESE said it would advise all individuals directly impacted by the changes in employment services. The advice includes a Transition to Workforce Australia website, a fact sheet, and a contact number (1300-854-414) which individuals can call for support.

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