Longterm Unemployment

Needs a better basis of help

WHEN every government decision is marketed as “reform”, it’s hard to distinguish real reform from short-term budget fixes such as depriving young people of unemployment payments for six months, a requirement to search for 40 jobs a month, and payment cuts for low-income families.

These ideas came as a shock to community organisations and affected people and attracted widespread opposition.

In the middle of this, the government’s welfare review panel released a report on, among other things, reform of payments for people of working age. ­Despite the real concerns we have about many of the government’s recent social security policies, the Australian Council of Social Service is participating in the review because it’s an ­opportunity to solve longstanding problems.

This is where the government should have started: with a properly structured social security review that identified the problems to be solved, and worked with the community to find the solutions. That’s how reform is usually achieved…

It’s time for the government to reset its social security policies and reform the safety net instead of shrinking it.

This is an extract of a speech which Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie will deliver today at the Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference 2014 on the Gold Coast.
View the extract on the Australian – here

Unemployment surges to 12-year high in Australia

6.4 per cent –  youth jobless figure hits 14 per cent

Economists had expected an extra 13,000 new jobs in July, leaving the unemployment rate steady at 6 per cent, but total employment fell marginally while the pool of unemployed swelled to almost 790,000 people.

Michael Janda from ABC News has reported that Bureau of Statistics figures show the jobless rate has surged from June’s reading of 6 per cent to 6.4 per cent over last month. This is the worst reading since August 2002.

Young people have been particularly hard-hit, with unemployment for 15-24-year-olds hitting 14.1 per cent – the highest level since October 2001.

The jobless rate for the 15-19-year-old subset jumped even more to 20.4 per cent – the highest since April 1997 – and was 30.1 per cent amongst those looking for full-time work…


Michael has further reported that politicians are playing the ‘blame game’ over the rising jobless total with each side of politics blaming each other for the jobs figures released yesterday.

Employment Minister Eric Abetz admits the 6.4 per cent unemployment figure is a very high rate, and says he does not know when it will fall.

“As to when unemployment figures will turn around will depend on a host of factors, our task as a Government is not to predict the future,” he said.

Queensland, youth hit hardest


  • NSW: Unemployment up from 5.7 to 5.9 per cent; participation steady at 63 per cent.
  • Vic: Unemployment up from 6.6 to 7 per cent; participation up from 64.2 to 64.7 per cent.
  • Qld: Unemployment up from 6.3 to 6.8 per cent; participation down from 66.3 to 66.2 per cent.
  • SA: Unemployment down from 7.3 to 7.2 per cent; participation down from 62.8 to 62.3 per cent.
  • WA: Unemployment up from 5 to 5.2 per cent; participation steady at 68.4 per cent.
  • Tas: Unemployment steady at 7.5 per cent; participation up from 60.9 to 61 per cent.
  • NT: Unemployment up from 4.5 to 4.8 per cent; participation down from 74.8 to 74.4 per cent.
  • ACT: Unemployment up from 3.8 to 3.9 per cent; participation steady at 71.2 per cent.

Source: ABS. All data seasonally adjusted, except Tasmania, NT and ACT which are trend, due to small sample size.
The full story by Michael Janda can be read on ABC News

Join the discussion on Youth Unemployment at the Longterm Unemployment Conference to be held 18-19 August at the QT Gold Coast. It is paramount to Australia’s future to pull in our unemployment rate and reduce the impact on key at-risk groups.

The conference will address further, the causes and programs needed to provide opportunities for at other high risk groups: Disability, Mature Age,  Indigenous and Regional Unemployed.  It will focus on “Building Capability” to create employment in the future with over 50 presentations on research, policy, programs and case studies.

Skill shortage Australia

Skill Shortages Australia report –  ‘A well-skilled future: Tailoring VET to the emerging labour market’

This report is part of a suite of research projects entitled ‘A well-skilled future: Tailoring VET to the emerging labour market’ conducted by a consortium of researchers from the National Institute of Labour Studies and the Centre for Post-compulsory Education and Lifelong Learning. This report aims to clarify the term ‘skill shortage’ and to explain how skill shortages can be resolved naturally by market forces. It also provides some guidance on determining when a skill shortage requires public-policy intervention. Managed by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), it aims to investigate future work skill needs and work organisation arrangements, and their implications for VET.

Research summary:

  • Skill acquisition and use across the life course:
  • Current trends, future prospects
  • Changing forms of employment and their implications for the development of skills
  • Demographic impacts on the future supply of vocational skills Research report
  • Changing work organisation and skill requirements
  • Social area differences in vocational education and training participation
  • Participation in vocational education and training across Australia
  • A regional analysis
  • Current vocational education and training strategies and responsiveness to emerging skills shortages and surpluses
  •  Matching supply of and demand for skills:
  • International perspectives

Read More Access at http://www.ncver.edu.au

Skill shortages and Job Creation will be discussed at a Long Term Unemployment Conference at the Gold Coast in August.


The Long-Term Unemployment Conference 2014 is a national conference focusing on at risk groups for Long-Term Unemployment, being held on 18-19 August 2014, QT Hotel Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Making the case for employer engagement – Equity and Diversity in Employment

Ms Toni Wren, Employment and Social Policy Consultant, Cuttagee Consulting will be presenting at the Long Term Unemployment Conference on Making the case for employer engagement – Equity and Diversity in Employment.

The mismatch between the skills of disadvantaged long term unemployed people and available employer vacancies is a key issue driving rising long term unemployment.  Future employment and training systems need to prepare job seekers to more successfully meet the needs of employers.  Employers too need to better understand the business case for employing a more diverse workforce. The presentation will bring together the evidence around the business case for employers to widen their diversity push beyond gender to include other equity groups.  These include Indigenous people, people with disability, young and older workers and those from different ethnic backgrounds – many of whom have been unemployed for more than a year.

The presentation will outline recent and future labour market trends and include an analysis of growing industry sectors and occupations.  It will set out the business case for employing equity groups and argue successful strategies to engage employers and prepare disadvantaged groups for employment have more similarities than differences.  It will include relevant overseas and Australian case studies.

About the presenter

Toni Wren is an independent Employment and Social Policy consultant and commentator with expertise in research, policy development and advocacy, as well as non-profit management and strategic thinking.

Toni is recognised as an expert in demand-led approaches to employment.  She worked abroad for more than a decade from 1995, including as Research Director for the UK’s National Employment Panel, an employer-led organisation advising UK Ministers on labour market policies and performance.

During her earlier career in Australia, she advised Ministers and Shadow Ministers from across the political spectrum, and worked at ACOSS and the NSW Welfare Rights Centre.

Toni has a Masters in Non-profit Management from the US and undergraduate degrees in economics and business communication from Australian universities.  She is currently a member of the National Facilitating Group for Anti-Poverty Week and the National VET Equity Advisory Council.

long term unemployment logo aprilLong Term Unemployment Conference.

This conference will address the causes and programs needed to provide opportunities for at risk groups: Disability, Mature Age, Youth, Indigenous and Regional Unemployed.  It will focus on “Building Capability” to create employment in the future with over 50 presentations on research, policy, programs and case studies.

Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference will be held on 18-19 August 2014, QT Hotel Surfers Paradise. The 2 day conference will feature keynote presentations and  4 streams on long term unemployment issues. To register for the conference please visit the website www.longtermunemployment.org.au or call the conference secretariat on 61 7) 5502 2068.