Longterm Unemployment

Qld budget 2016: Pitt’s plan to create 8000 jobs

treasurer curtis pittA two year plan to generate 8000 new jobs will focus on getting regional Queenslanders, suffering from the mining downturn and prolonged drought conditions, back to work.

The Queensland Government today announced an ambitious $100 million plan to boost our regions, targeting the long-term unemployed as well as young, mature and indigenous unemployed.

The program includes cash incentives up to $15,000 to businesses who hire long-term unemployed and a $10 million program to increase certificate 3 level qualification in regional areas.

But communities in the south east will not able to access the fund.

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced the measures in parliament on Tuesday as part of his second state budget.

  • $10,000 to employers who hire an unemployed person in regional Queensland for at least a year.
  • $15,000 to employers who hire a long term unemployed person for at least a year.
  • 8000 new jobs expected across regional Queensland.
  • Not applicable to south east corner – including Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich.

Mr Pitt told parliament the program included $80 million in support payments for employers to hire regional jobseekers.

“This will directly fund getting around 8000 regional Queenslanders back to work,” Mr Pitt said in his budget speech.

“This year, the Back to Work package will give regional employers the confidence to take on new staff,” he said.

“It includes Back to Work employer support payments of up to $10,000 for employers who hire – and keep someone employed – for 12 months or more in Queensland’s regions.

“And this payment increases to up to $15,000 if an employer hires a long-term unemployed person.”

Employment Minister Grace Grace said unemployment rates remained too high in regional Queensland.

“That’s why this package is specifically targeted at the regions,” she said.

“Our regional jobs package has been designed with input from business, employer and industry groups along with local government representatives.”

Mr Pitt also announced the government would “repatriate” $4 billion from the QSuper defined benefits scheme that was $10 billion in surplus. To read more click here.

The 2016 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference; Finding Solutions will be held on the 1-2 December 2016, at the Mercure in Brisbane. To register for the Conference CLICK HERE.

The conference theme focuses on industry working together with employment agencies to create positive outcomes for Australia’s long-term unemployed.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 2016 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference are invited to submit a 300 word abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE.

Combining practical examples, theory, research and best practice this conference elevates the dialogue to include businesses, not-for-profits, Government agencies, human resource professionals, social security services and industrial relations advocates.

How can we enhance indigenous employment opportunities

idigenous employmentThe latest ABS report on Indigenous people in the workforce confirms an ongoing trend of low participation. Our research shows that non-standard recruitment agencies, more education and ongoing mentoring and support are key to improving these disappointing statistics as reported by from Australian National University.

While there was a narrowing of the employment gap between 1994 and 2008, since 2008 this appears to have stalled. The ABS report shows that 58% of Indigenous Australians were participating in the labour force (that is, they were employed or unemployed).

Males were more likely than females to be participating in the labour force (65% compared with 52%), as were people in non-remote areas, compared with those in remote areas (61% and 49%, respectively). The report also found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were significantly less likely than non-Indigenous people to be employed.

This employment gap results from barriers to Indigenous people obtaining and maintaining employment. On the demand side, the location of jobs, structural change in the labour market and employer discrimination impact on Indigenous peoples chance of finding employment. On the supply side health, education and training, work experience and caring responsibilities limit participation.

The report by the ABS is based on data from the recently released 2014 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS). This data reveals a lot about the reasons for the gap in Indigenous participation in the workforce.

Education outcomes are a key determinant of employment. An Indigenous male or female with a degree has an employment probability of 85% or 74% respectively. For someone who has completed Year 12 only, this falls to 62% and 50%, whereas someone who has completed Year 9 or below it falls to 43% and 32%. Education alone doesn’t determine employment, but it is a big factor.

Current policies on Indigenous employment focus on education but are much quieter on discrimination. The NATSISS data shows that 33% of adult males and 37% of adult females reported experiencing some form of unfair treatment in the previous 12 months (excluding those who responded that they did not know). What is interesting, is that these percentages are higher for employed Indigenous Australians (35% for males and 38% for females) than those who are not employed (32% per cent and 36%).

At work or when applying for work was the second most common source of unfair treatment (after members of the public). It’s not surprising that because of this some Indigenous Australians would be reluctant to engage with the labour market when this, and other research, shows that discrimination and unfair treatment is a very real and very damaging aspect of the labour market for Indigenous Australians.

The 2014 NATSISS reveals there are also substantial gender and age differences. Like the population as a whole, employment rates are significantly higher for Indigenous males compared to females for those aged under 40. For those aged 40 and over, the difference by sex narrows substantially, and an Indigenous male aged 50-54 is actually slightly less likely to be employed than an Indigenous female of the same age. This puts older Indigenous men at the highest risk of unemployment. To read more click here.

The 2016 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference; Finding Solutions will be held on the 1-2 December 2016, at the Mercure in Brisbane. To register for the Conference CLICK HERE.

The conference theme focuses on industry working together with employment agencies to create positive outcomes for Australia’s long-term unemployed.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 2016 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference are invited to submit a 300 word abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE.

Combining practical examples, theory, research and best practice this conference elevates the dialogue to include businesses, not-for-profits, Government agencies, human resource professionals, social security services and industrial relations advocates.

APS Disability Employment Strategy 2016-19

DISABILITY EMPLOYMENTThe Australian Public Service Commission launched the As One: Making it Happen, the APS Disability Employment Strategy 2016-19 on 31 May 2016. Australian Public Service Commissioner the Hon. John Lloyd reflects on its importance, and on his own personal experience with disability.

The Australian public sector is well placed to lead the way in disability employment. Our workforce is large and geographically dispersed, and provides services to all Australians. We can make a real difference as an employer and a role model.

The Strategy, developed in consultation with APS agencies and peak disability bodies sets out actions to increase the recruitment of people with disability. It sets out actions to ensure that employees with disability have opportunities for career progression and to ensure workplaces are accessible and inclusive.

The APSC has developed a range of resources to assist agencies implement the strategy including an Implementation Guide for HR managers, a manager’s toolkit and resources for employees. These can all be found at the Disability page on the APSC website.

The As One: Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy, first published in 2012, set an agenda for change and delivery of improved Australian Public Service (APS) employment opportunities for people with disability.

As One: Making it Happen, APS Disability Employment Strategy 2016–19 builds on the initiatives and momentum of the first strategy to improve the employment experience of people with disability in the APS. As One: Making it Happen forms part of the Commonwealth’s response to the National Disability Strategy 2010–20.

Approximately one in five Australians identify as a person with disability. Improving the representation of people with disability in the workforce will enable the APS to respond more capably to the needs of the community. By representing the Australian population’s diversity, we are better placed to communicate, understand and meet the full range of needs.

With an ageing workforce and shrinking labour market, it is important to be an employer of choice. This requires agencies to be disability confident and offer rewarding careers in which people with disability are supported to perform at their best.

Rates of disability are significantly higher among Indigenous Australians. As One: Making it Happen complements the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy 2015 by seeking to improve representation of Indigenous Australians with disability in the APS. To read more click here.

The 2016 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference; Finding Solutions will be held on the 1-2 December 2016, at the Mercure in Brisbane. To register for the Conference CLICK HERE.

The conference theme focuses on industry working together with employment agencies to create positive outcomes for Australia’s long-term unemployed.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 2016 Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference are invited to submit a 300 word abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE.

 

Interns plan offers hope for ready, willing and able workers

An effective jobs and growth plan is a long-term proposition as our economy shifts away from reliance on resources. So the drop in the trend unemployment rate from 5.8 per cent to 5.7 per cent in April means little. More telling is that jobs growth is slowing, making the economic task more difficult for whichever party prevails on July 2. What’s more, it highlights the need to find better ways to reduce the social and economic cost of long-term unemployment.

For the Turnbull government, any doubt over employment prospects makes its “jobs and growth” mantra more difficult to sell. But concerns about work security and availability also show the importance of budget policies such as the coalition’s internships program for under-25s.

While the economy is still creating jobs, annual trend jobs growth has slowed from 2.6 per cent in December to 2.0 per cent in April. While that matches the budget forecast, most of the new jobs are part-time. Full-time employment has shrunk for three straight months.

An extension of the trend could eventually lift the jobless rate and job security fears could exacerbate the reluctance of households to spend in these times of flat wages and low inflation. The central bank expects employment to grow “at a somewhat slower pace” in the next year. It was concerned enough about the economic outlook on budget day to reduce the official interest rate from 2 per cent to 1.75 per cent, thereby limiting its ability to spur activity with further rate cuts when needed.

Slower economic growth and higher unemployment would add billions to the budget deficit over the next four years as more people claimed unemployment benefits and tax receipts shrunk. The budget papers forecast that the jobless rate would fall to 5.5 per cent by the June quarter of 2017. Treasury will release updated economic forecasts on Friday.

The coalition is entitled to argue that its planned business tax cuts are required to encourage job creation, although Labor says relief should not be a top priority.

Where both sides should agree is that governments have a key role in ensuring that young jobless people have the best chance of finding work. The Herald believes that the coalition’s interns plan is a positive development to equip both youth and long-term unemployed with job-ready skills and experience.

The trend jobless rate for 15-24 year olds remained 12.2 per cent in April but on the government’s preferred measure it rose from 12.0 per cent to 12.3 per cent seasonally adjusted. While well down from the recent peak of 14.5 per cent in November 2014, it is more than double the overall jobless rate. A study due next week will examine the related problems of long-term unemployment. One cause is lack of skills that employers require. About one in four unemployed have been out of work for more than 52 consecutive weeks. The long-term jobless rate is about 1.4 per cent, representing more than 170,000 people whose skills and potential are being lost personally and economically.

The coalition’s Youth Jobs PaTH – Prepare, Trial, Hire – is a vast improvement on work for the dole, which is not sufficiently tailored to employer needs, carries a stigma and was wound back slightly in the budget. To read more click here.

The Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference will be held on the 1-2 December 2016 in Brisbane. To express your interest in the Conference CLICK HERE.