News: What is Workforce Australia – the government's new employment support program?

Talent Acquisition

What is Workforce Australia – the government's new employment support program?

The rebrand of Jobactive to Workforce Australia brings a new set of obligations for people receiving income support from the Australian government.
What is Workforce Australia – the government's new employment support program?

Australia's Department of Education, Skills and Employment is rebranding its employment services portal to Workforce Australia, with changes taking full effect on 4 July. The change streamlines all of the government's employment services and skills programs into "a single front door".

Officials said they remain committed to "helping Australians to find and keep a job, change jobs or create their own job," as well as connecting employers with jobseekers and bringing in a "refreshed network" of providers managing intensive and individualised cases that require additional support.

The department, however, urges recipients of job support benefits to continue meeting their mutual obligation requirements "to keep getting [their] income support payment".

Program participants will now be asked to earn a target number of points (100 points for most beneficiaries) to keep receiving payments. They are given the "flexibility and choice in deciding what tasks and activities" they will engage in to earn points.

The new point system replaces the current requirement for beneficiaries to apply to 20 jobs a month.

Under Workforce Australia, beneficiaries can earn points by applying; interviewing for a job; doing paid work; or participating in certain activities.

Better resources for stakeholders?

The rebrand is said to be part of the Australian government's attempt to "reform the way we work and interact with individuals, businesses and providers," officials announced on the website of Jobactive, the former name of Workforce Australia.

Staff members of the department also promised to reach out to beneficiaries ahead of the change regarding which service or service provider they will be transitioned to, along with the steps they need to take.

The government has invested in a digital platform dubbed Workforce Australia Online, available to the public, not just recipients of income support. The platform offers:

1) Resume building tools

2) Online learning opportunities

3) A jobs board with skills matching

4) Links to training and other resources

5) Financial support for finding and keeping a job

6) A contact centre to address their questions and concerns and to guide them through the services

The contact centre support team will work to ensure users of the portal self-manage efficiently and have access to a service provider should they require a more tailored approach, department officials said.

People who need personalised support can opt to work closely with a case manager from Workforce Australia's network of providers, who offer to:

1) Collaborate with employers to fill vacancies with the right talent

2) Provide secure and sustainable employment for a greater number of jobseekers under their care

3) Establish strong local connections

4) Deliver tailored and intensive case management through lower staff-to-caseload ratios

To enhance employment service delivery and outcomes and reward high-performing providers in their network, the government is also introducing a new system for licensing and monitoring the peformance of service providers.

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, #IndustrialRelations

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