Longterm Unemployment

Mr Barry King from Ganamarr Consultants on jobs for Indigenous people and other at risk groups

Concurrent Session Chair: Mr Barry King, Director, Ganamarr Consultants

Concurrent Session Time: Monday 9 November, 4.34 – 5.04pm

Abstract: The PEOPLE Model: getting jobs for Indigenous people and other at risk groups              

The PEOPLE Model has been successfully applied over the last 20 years to Indigenous populations with 30% employment rates in various industries. These high employment rates have been achieved by identifying and overcoming barriers experienced by both the supply (employees) and demand (employers) sides of the labour market.

Indigenous people often have personal barriers which hinder their job prospects such as low self-esteem, poor mental and physical health and drug or alcohol problems. They also lack job ready skills such as no job experience, low education levels, no vocational qualifications and lack of knowledge of workplace practices. On the demand side, employers often lack an understanding of how education and employment programs operate as well as the problematics of working with multiple stakeholders. There is also widespread discrimination within employer organisations.

These barriers are often experienced across many other at risk groups.

The mechanisms of the PEOPLE Model will be demonstrated using the 3 year, $650M Northern Territory Indigenous Housing Project as an example. In this project over 900 Indigenous people started pre-employment training. Of these, 90% completed the course. And of those who completed the course, 90% got a job with nearly 30% placed in apprenticeships. This was equivalent to a 30% Indigenous employment rate.

This high employment rate was mainly due to the intense ground work completed in the first 3 stages of the model which prepared Indigenous people to become job ready and assist employers to provide a workplace culture which embraced Indigenous employees. The final three stages included the design and implementation of a Jobs Plan to ensure all job targets were delivered on time.

The PEOPLE Model brings together Indigenous people and employers providing employers with skilled and motivated Indigenous staff with long term career opportunities. The similarities of barriers experienced by Indigenous job seekers and other at risk groups means many of the mechanisms used in the PEOPLE Model can be applied across a broader at risk population.

For more information on the 2015 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference please click here.

Dr Dina Bowman to discuss mature age jobseekers and employment services at the 2015 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference

Concurrent Session Chair: Dr Dina Bowman, Senior manager, Research and Policy Centre, Brotherhood of St Laurence

Concurrent Session Time: Monday 9 November, 2.02pm – 2.32pm

Abstract: Opening the gate: mature age jobseekers and employment services

Policy responses to mature-age unemployment tend to focus on incentives for employers to hire mature-age workers and on challenging ageist attitudes held by employers. The impact of employment services as intermediaries between mature-age jobseekers and employers has yet to be properly understood or addressed.

The report of the review into Commonwealth legal barriers to mature-age persons participating in the workforce or other productive work, Access all ages (ALRC 2013) observed that labour market intermediaries perform a critical gate-keeping function that can exclude mature-age workers. The Inquiry heard mature-age job seekers are not receiving the appropriate employment assistance and many feel their age means they are not treated with respect (ALRC 2013.)

This presentation reports on a recently completed ARC Linkage study that examined workforce vulnerabilities in midlife and beyond. The study was conducted by researchers at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, University of Melbourne, Curtin University, in partnership with Jobs Australia. It provides insight into mature-job-seekers – often but not always negative – experience of employment services. The presentation highlights the importance of building greater awareness of the circumstances and needs of mature-age jobseekers and suggests some practical steps to more effectively assist them.

The Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference will be held on the 9 – 10 November 2015 at Pullman Melbourne on the Park.

The key areas to be addressed at the Conference will include:

  • Tackling unemployment for at risk groups: disability, regional, youth, mature age, and indigenous
  • Other at risk groups: CALD, ex-offenders and those with mental illness
  • Whole of family approach and earlier intervention including jobless families
  • Return to work strategies
  • The new welfare reform environment
  • Federal government policy and programs
  • Employer engagement and diversity programs targeting employing the long-term unemployed
  • Labour market trends and research
  • Job creation
  • JSA, DES other employment programs
  • Education, training and skills for employment
  • Building personal networks and relationship form partnerships, alliances and shared experience.

To find out more about the 2015 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference or to view the full Conference Program please click here.


Mr Geoff Revill from UnitingCare to chair session on services to address long-term joblessness in Australia

Concurrent Session Chair: Mr Geoff Revill, Manager, Building Family Opportunities Program, UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide

Concurrent Session Time: Tuesday 10 November, 9.00am – 9.30am

Abstract: ‘Whole of Family’ considerations in design and delivery of services to address long-term joblessness in Australia

ABS Labour Force data for June 2015* recorded 183,274 Australians as being unemployed for over 52 weeks, almost half of whom (88,980) have been unemployed for more than 2 years.

Numerous government and non-government reports, studies and surveys confirm that people experiencing long-term joblessness face a range of vocational and non-vocational barriers to gaining work.

For members of families experiencing long-term unemployment, the range of non-vocational barriers they experience can often become entrenched and increasingly complex over time.   This often impacts negatively on the capacity of job seekers to prepare for, gain and sustain work; the level and quality of participation by children in education; and the engagement of family members with society more generally. These factors often combine to result in families experiencing inter-generational unemployment and ongoing social dislocation.

This has prompted a service approach for addressing long-term unemployment within families which involves enabling ‘whole of families’ to build their capacity to better manage issues related to complex participation barriers. Rather than address one family member’s barriers in isolation, positive service engagement and collaboration with the ‘whole of family’ is undertaken. The aim is to create an enabling family environment that better supports family members who are seeking to participate in education, training and work.

This paper shares the experiences of an organisation in its delivery of a South Australian Government funded ‘whole of family’ employment program with over 350 families during the past five and a half years.

In so doing, it demonstrates how a service continuum  that can successfully link  ‘whole of family’ services/ programs  can create a  more sustainable pathway from very long term joblessness and social dislocation to positive social engagement which includes education, training and employment. * ABS 6291.0.55.001 Table 14B Unemployed persons by Duration of unemployment and Sex – Trend, Seasonally adjusted, Original

To view the 2015 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference Program please click here.

To secure your registration to the 2015 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference please visit the website here.

Jeff Borland to discuss ‘What is happening in long-term unemployment in Australia today?’

Long-term unemployment is a serious problem impacting not only the individual, but the community and more broadly the economy. What is being done to alleviate this problem? What is the impact of long-term unemployment on the community; the economy?

Presenting a keynote address at the Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference in Melbourne on 9-10 November 2015, Professor of Economics at The University of Melbourne, Jeff Borland discusses the important topic ‘What is happening in long-term unemployment in Australia today?’

This and other important issues affecting long-term unemployment will be highlighted at this year’s Long-Term Unemployment Conference held at Pullman Melbourne on the Park.

For more information on the Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference this November and to access early bird registration, click here.