Budget 2014: Funding cuts could create a bigger workload for HR

by Janie Smith20 May 2014
The Federal Government’s decision to cut funding for a service which bridges the gap between high schools and industry could spell bad news for HR professionals.

The Partnership Brokering initiative will lose its sole source of funding in the 2014-15 Budget, which will affect a number of regional partnership services, including AusSIP, which operates in The Hills District in North West Sydney and Parramatta in Western Sydney.

“In essence, this business will close down,” AusSIP executive officer John Watters told HC Online.

“There's no other federal service, there's no state plan, there's nothing. The response from the Federal Government has been that they're going to create more work opportunities. I didn't see anything in that budget about how they're going to create more opportunities.”

AusSIP works with schools and businesses to transition high school students into further training and employment and sets up work placements and industry visits.

Watters said the process of getting students ready for the workforce made HR professionals’ jobs easier and a lot of businesses were able to use work placements as a recruitment tool to identify upcoming talent.

He said that many schools have either scaled back their career advisors’ roles or simply didn’t have career advisors at all.

“Since 2006, organisations like us have been established and tendered for contracts to help career advisors get involved in work-ready days, industry visits, mentoring programmes – all those great things that expose kids to the world of work.”

The service also made the pathway is easier for employers and HR managers, “so they don't end up with 5000 applications that aren't worth a pinch of anything and kids who have no idea what the industry is about”.

“How many applicants do you get who are completely unsuitable and have no understanding of the industry? You go through the whole recruitment process which is expensive and time-consuming and then three weeks into the job, the person says, 'I'm not really into this anymore'. That could have been circumvented during work placement,” said Watters.

“We've been helping to feed the pipeline of young talent for a long time. Work placement has been around for more than a dozen years. Part of our role has been to manage the supply and demand. We do it as a service to help businesses manage kids coming through.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that 600 businesses, schools and charities wrote to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, asking for the $50 million yearly funding for Partnership Brokers not to be scrapped.  


  • by Kathy York 20/05/2014 12:16:28 PM

    As a service provider we accommodate well over 100+ students with the opportunity for workplacement in our kitchen and front of house area. If the funding for our local partnership brokerage who brilliantly coordinate placements for Yr 11 & 12 students from local high schools is removed we will loose future Hospitality workers of the future. This will apply across all streams as students & schools will not know of the partnerships that the brokers were aligned with, businesses will not have the time to individually assess student requests therefore ceasing to offer the opportunities to our youth.

  • by Rubia 24/05/2014 9:03:40 AM

    Getting real life experience early is important: We look out for graduates who have regularly worked during school holidays in progressively meaningful jobs at competitive rates that businesses can afford. This is the best way of easing into the workforce, as it also develops those relationships with employers that ensure school leavers have a job waiting for them when they need it. I have practised this for many years overseas, including employing uni students to cover for sales force members during their annual leave. It has given us and the students the opportunity to check each other out and form relationships that have lead to many very successful
    careers and highly reduced recruiting cost, HR time and business risk. No government money required at all.

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